Anxiety, Prayer, Words of Endurance

What’s Wrong with a Little Worry

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that,
what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

It is little wonder that the Gospel writer Luke, a physician, recorded what Jesus said about worry. Worry does affect one physically and certainly does not add a single moment to one’s life – in fact it may very well shorten one’s life span.

Worry weighs a person down;
Proverbs 12:25

Apparently worry was a costly problem in Jesus’ day just as it is in ours. As Jesus points out, worry doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead of making things better, worry actually drains our resources. Even so, we often try to justify our worry, especially during difficult times.

Some worriers believe that worry is not only justifiable but is a necessary part of caring. But the truth is when we actually care for someone, we express that care externally through offers to help, listen and comfort. If we worry about someone, our efforts are internal – we may fret and stew over a problem but that activity rarely leads to action. It does nothing to lend assistance or alleviate pain. In fact, it exhausts the worriers and can prevent them from helping the very person they are “worrying” about.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow;
It empties today of its strength.

Worry is a drain on the person being worried about as well. Often the person who is the object of worry is well aware of it. That person may not share about needs with the worrier because he or she does not want the worrier to worry! As a result, rather than gaining an ally or help, the person in need loses a potential resource.

In addition to being counterproductive, worry has some risky side effects. Worry …

  • Distorts our perspective of the problem.

  • Makes us feel powerless to deal with the problem.

  • Makes it difficult to think about anything else.

  • Makes us vulnerable to fear and depression.

  • Is physically and mentally exhausting.

  • Accomplishes nothing toward resolving the problem.

  • Robs us of creativity and joy.

  • Robs us of peace and spiritual fulfillment.

  • Interferes with our ability to relax – causing insomnia.

  • Results in muscle tension – especially in the neck, upper back and face – which can lead to chronic pain.

  • Produces headaches – especially in the forehead and temples.
  • Increases stress hormones that can irritate the stomach and result in gastrointestinal problems – the classic “knot in the stomach.”

If you are given to being a “worry wart” even reading these unpleasant side effects may have given you a knot in your stomach! But please don’t worry about your worrying – take heart! There is hope! God knows all about our tendency to worry so He provided lots of instruction and encouragement to help us wage our war with worry.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

On the journey with you,
Dave and Jan Dravecky