What Are You Worried About?
By Rick Warren
— August 31, 2009
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6–7 MSG).
Two businessmen were talking about the economy: Jack:
“I’m about to lose my job and our house is in foreclosure, but I don’t worry about it.” Bob:
“How can you not be worried?” Jack:
“I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all my worrying for me. That way I don’t have to think about it!” Bob:
“That’s a fantastic idea. How much does it cost to hire a professional worrier?” Jack:
“$50,000 a year.” Bob:
“$50,000! Where are you going to get that kind of money?” Jack:
“I don’t know. That’s HIS worry!”
Worry is something you learn to do.
There is no such thing as a “born worrier.” It is a learned response to life. You learned to worry from two sources: 1. You learned to worry from experience.
After years of mistakes, failures, and unfulfilled expectations, you’ve discovered that things don’t always turn out right. Out of these experiences you formed the habit of worrying. 2. You learned to worry from examples.
There are many models around you. Studies show that children usually pick up their parent’s worries. Anxious parents raise anxious kids.
Since worry is a learned response to life, it can be unlearned!
The starting point for overcoming worry is to realize it is useless. It does you no good to worry. It is “stewing without doing.” Worry has never changed anything. Worry cannot change the past. Worry cannot control the future. Worry only makes you miserable today.
Worry has never solved a problem, never paid a bill, and never cured an illness. It only paralyzes you so you can’t work on the solution. Worry is like racing a car when its engine is in neutral; it doesn’t get you anywhere, it just uses up gas.
The Bible teaches, “An anxious heart weighs a man down” (Proverbs 12:25 NIV).
On top of that, worry exaggerates the problem. It plays on your imagination. Have you ever noticed that when you worry about a problem it gets bigger? Every time you repeat if over and over in your mind you tend to add details, amplifying it so you feel worse.
What’s the solution? Instead of worrying, talk to God about what’s worrying you. He is someone who can do something about it.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6–7 MSG).