“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
- Matthew 6:25-34
“Hence, nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.”
- C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
“No one has to remind you of the high cost of anxiety. (But I will anyway.) Worry divides the mind. The biblical word for worry (merimnao) is a compound of two Greek words, merizo (‘to divide’) and nous (‘the mind’). Anxiety splits our energy between today’s priorities and tomorrow’s problems. Part of our mind is on the now; the rest is on the not yet. The result is half-minded living.
”That’s not the only result. Worrying is not a disease, but it causes diseases. It has been connected to high blood pressure, heart trouble, blindness, migraine headaches, thyroid malfunctions, and a host of stomach disorders.
“Anxiety is an expensive habit. Of course, it might be worth the cost if it worked. But it doesn’t. Our frets are futile. Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem, or cured a disease.”
- Max Lucado, Traveling Light
I searched the internet high and low for the following quote. I could not find it, so I will accept the honors myself, unless proven wrong.
“Try not to worry, and you’ll end up worrying about worrying.”
The quote may not be very enlightening or encouraging, but sadly it is often truthful. Worry becomes a death spiral. Yes, even that far.
I have a few of Max Lucado’s diseases but he missed one, at least one. Dr. David Burns in the Feeling Good book links anxiety to depression. In Dr. Burns’ handbook, he gives a few short daily or weekly self-surveys. One is on anxiety levels and another is on depression. He states in the book, and I can attest to his accuracy, that when the anxiety level goes up, the feeling of depression goes up. Of course, Dr. Burns is trying in the book to categorize the fears that we have so that we can see that most of our fears are based on false assumptions. Then again, C. S. Lewis would add that they are like all other vices, based on the future. Since we cannot know the future, that puts most of our anxiety in the imaginary realm. I can attest to the benefits of the Feeling Good book and handbook, in that through self-help, I was able to lower my anxiety and any feeling of depression was gone.
If you go online for “worry” quotes, you’ll find a lot that deal with worry not helping tomorrow’s problem, but it robs today of its joy, energy, pleasure, etc. There are several along those lines.
Okay, so we analyze our fears and eliminate all that are imagined, and we still have fears that are real. That should give us just cause for worry, right?!
No. Jesus said for us not to worry. Jesus calls those who follow Him His brothers and sisters. He, a Big Brother, is willing to take that load from us. It would be best if we let Him do so.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.