Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Worry Box

It's been said that "worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due." Are you a worrier? I was--until I learned how useless worry is and discovered strategies to stop worrying.

Worry is the number one health problem in the USA. Hospitals and mental institutions are full of people who worried themselves into physical and mental illness. Doctors tell us that worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system. Research has proven that worry breaks down resistance to disease, and it actually causes diseases of the nervous system, digestive system, and the heart. In short, worry is not only sin against God by demonstrating a lack of faith, but it is also sin against our own bodies. Worry kills.

A poem I found on an old greeting card says, "Overheard in a Tree One Day," got me to thinking:

Said the robin to the sparrow, "I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so."
Said the sparrow to the robin, "I think that it must be
They have no Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me."

I discovered that the big difference between worry and concern is that a worried person sees a problem, while the concerned person solves a problem. Worry never does any good. First, it's useless to worry about things we can't do anything about. We must trust them to God. Second, if we can do something about it, we need to get busy and do what we can.

God's prescription for worry is recorded in Philippians 4. I have found that it works every time, in every case, if applied moment by moment according to the instructions of our Great Physician: (1) Rejoice in the Lord always! (v. 4); (2) Don't worry but pray (v. 6); (3) Dwell on good, helpful thoughts (v. 8); (4) Keep our minds on Jesus (v. 7, 9). Since we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (v. 13) and God has promised to supply all our needs according to His endless riches (v. 19), why worry? I now replace worry thoughts with these Scriptures.

If you are a worrier, here's an idea to try: J. Arthur Rank would write down all his worries and put them in a box for Wednesday, designated his Worry Day. On Worry Day, he would read them all and usually found that by then most things were already settled.

For a happier, healthier life, don't worry!

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