By Rick Warren
— September 1, 2009
“And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matthew 6:30 NLT).
Do you tend to expect the worst? Do you panic when you get a letter with IRS stamped on the envelope or when you hear a rumor about layoffs at work?
The word worry comes from an old English word meaning “to choke or strangle.” Of course, that’s exactly what worry does to your productivity and happiness. It’s a self-defeating waste of time.
In his famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:25–34), Jesus gave four reasons for not worrying and the secrets of overcoming it: 1. Worry is unreasonable.
To worry about something you can’t change is useless. To worry about something you can change is foolish! And every time you review a worry in your mind, it just gets bigger. Worry amplifies problems out of proportion. 2. Worry is unnatural.
You weren’t born a worrier. It is a learned response to life. In fact, you have to practice to get good at it. Fortunately worry can be unlearned. The only species in God’s creation that worries is human beings. We don’t think God will take care of us. 3. Worry is unhelpful.
It doesn’t work. It can’t change the past. It can’t control the future. It only makes you miserable today. Worrying about a problem never solves the problem. 4. Worry is unnecessary.
God has promised to take care of you if you’ll trust him with the details of your life. As a child, if you asked your father for lunch money you never worried about where it would come from. That was his problem. Let God be God in your life! “God will take care of you, just have faith.”
How can I break the worry habit?
First, trust God with every area of your life: “But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to” (Matthew 6:32 LB).
Second, live just one day at a time: “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matthew 6:34 LB).