The Apostle Paul wrote (two thousand years ago), “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests unto God. Then because you belong to Jesus Christ, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand” (Philippians 4:6-7 -CEV).
Paul’s recipe for worry is “DON’T”. There is a definite difference between worry and concern. What ever you can do about a problem, do it. When all has been done and you have no alternatives left – shut the door on it, walk away from it. Worry is always about a problem, a situation, a matter over which you have no control. Recite your problems to yourself and then to your God. Share them readily with Him and the results will be amazing. Give time an opportunity to see a problem though. Time, opportunity and change go together. Worry never works.
List the source of your worry and stress. Write them down on paper. Talk is cheap, but writing makes it all come clear. Put the worst offender first and follow with others till the list is complete. Be painfully honest with yourself. Worry warts cannot be removed until located and identified.
Now find the ones on the list that CANNOT BE CHANGED. Many of our worries and points of stress come from events that never take place. When you do all that you can do about a problem, what more can be done, other than to turn it over to God. He’ll take your burdens only when you release them.
Take a stand in your own defense. Stand up strong and straight. The Book says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens”, but it is morally wrong to “bear each other’s responsibilities!” Have you become the family ‘step and fetch it’? Unfortunately, many of us feel guilty when we say ‘no’ to others when asked to accept false obligations. Just say, “That’s not something I can deal with”.
Budget your time. We budget our money so why not take a close look at the way you spend your time. Wasting time is slow suicide. When was the last time you paid yourself ‘wages in time’? To do some things you want to do for yourself. Think constructively and use your time wisely. A gift of just one hour is a precious gift. Time is the most expensive gift you have to offer.
The bottom line will result in the change of lifestyle. Turn the TV off. Mute the radio. Take the phone off the hook. Take time to reflect on your own life and the value of important things. Take a close look at your fears and phobias. The greatest prevention of worry is action. Actions lead to activities and work is a great antidote of worry.
“Let this mind be in you which was in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:5). See life though his eyes – hear life though his ears. Learn to laugh at life’s little inconsistencies. Brush aside worries that have no solutions and concerns that have no merit. Be assertive about the things that really count. Learn to let your emotions out. ‘A fear faced is a fear erased’.
The apostle was in prison writing encouragement to each of us. He writes words like, “Not that I speak in respect of want: I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content . . . For I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me . . . and my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:11,13,19).
The apostle put it best when he wrote “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Worry and stress come in our reaction to given situations. If we act (be proactive) more and react less, the level of stress would be appreciably reduced. Give your life to God for he is the ultimate remedy for stress and worry.
Remember the wisdom Grandpa had. “Nothing will run itself unless running down hill. To get anywhere you must start where you are. The thing which is to be done is more important than the method by doing it. Water in a well cannot be purified by painting the pump. Progress is only possible when the mind is open to new ideas. Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you – by gum. When little men cast long shadows, it’s almost sunset. Forgiveness is the key. Use it often.