Do people call you a "worry wart"? Do you know you need to stop feeling so anxious but don't know how?
“How do I stop worrying?” is one of the top questions asked on Google.
Well, first of all, what exactly is worry? We all do it, but how is it different from anxiety or fear?
Google gives two definitions:
as a verb: “to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.”
2. as a noun: “a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.”
So worry is basically anxiety of the mind, but not necessarily clinical anxiety.
Now it would benefit us to know, now that we know not to be anxious, what do we do instead? What is the opposite of worry?
There are several ideas out there. I would say that the opposite of worry is trust. It’s a peace of mind that even though you’re concerned about something, you’re remaining calm and doing what you can and then leaving the results up to God.
I’ve heard it said:
“Worry ends where faith begins.”
Well, yes, of course. But that pithy statement doesn’t tell the whole story. I can have faith that God is good and that God is my provider and that God is sovereign. But just knowing those facts doesn’t automatically mean that I’m actively putting my trust in God.
Obviously, not trusting in the Lord is a sin. But we’re all human. Everyone worries about something. Even us Christians who know what the Bible says about worrying:
We’ll look at them in both KJV and another translation:
The most quoted verse about worry in the New Testament:
Philippians 4:6, KJV: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Philippians 4:6, NIV: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
From Jesus’ own discourse about worry in Luke 12:
Luke 12:26, KJV: “If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?”
Luke 12:26, ESV: “If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?”
And again from Luke 12:
Luke 12:29, KJV: “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.”
Luke 12:29, NASB: “And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.”
And, of course, the full discourse in Matthew 6:
Matthew 6:25-34, KJV: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
One worry cure is a worry journal
I went through a 7-day worry-free challenge a few weeks ago, so hoping for a practical cure for my worry.
Dr. Laurie Weiss created the challenge as the Secrets of Reducing Unnecessary Worry: A 7-Day Challenge. It was really good at getting me to think through and write down my worries and fears and what I could do about them.
But the last day of the challenge, when it was supposedly going to get practical, it became very obvious that this was a lot of non-Christian psychobabble. There was a lot of universe, self-worshiping, vague fluff.
So I created a PDF that took the good parts of that challenge, trashed the irrelevant or unbiblical parts of the challenge, and organized it a little better.
Take this challenge yourself: It will
answer what worry keeps you awake at night
show yourself where you worry too much
help you actively work to trust God in specific areas better
To take this challenge with me,
1. Sign up to download the PDF by clicking the button below.
2. Then jump over to our private Facebook group and request to join (answering at least 2 of the 3 questions in order to be approved), and we’ll discuss each day’s work!
I hope to see you there!