John Locke once said, “What worries you, masters you.” Have you ever considered that worry could become your boss? Worry can take charge of your mind, producing distraction, confusion and depression. Worry can give orders to your body, manufacturing insomnia, ulcers and heart attacks. Worry can manage your spirit, generating bitterness, distrust and disobedience toward God. Worry is a powerful master—but not in a positive way.
There is a difference between concern and worry. If your top client doesn’t return your phone call, or if your sales have come in below budget, there is a reason to take heed. Concern leads us to focus, analyze and revise our actions. On the other hand, worry causes us to obsess and over-scrutinize every negative possibility. Even when good news comes, worry warns that it won’t really last and bad news can’t be far behind. When we allow our God-given imaginations to work in reverse, we dream up problems that don’t even exist, and move into anxiety mode.
The truth is, we spend too much energy worrying about things we have absolutely no control over. Worry wastes your time when you already envision a negative response from your boss while she/he is reviewing your proposal. Worry robs your productivity when you are paralyzed by thoughts that your new venture could fail. What are you worrying about right now? Has it already spoiled a beautiful day, time with family, or a restful night’s sleep? Worry has the potential to become your greatest enemy in the marketplace, and in life.
Jesus addressed this issue in straightforward terms. Scripture becomes more meaningful to me when I personalize and paraphrase it in my journal. This is what I took away from Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34 . . . “Do not worry and fret over all the details of your life, like where your next meal is coming from and whether you will be able to keep your job or pay your bills. And don’t get anxious about what to wear, whether you should dress business casual or wear a suit. Is that what life has been reduced to for you?Have you thought about the birds in the sky, and the fact that they have no way to produce food for themselves, much less have any retirement or 401K? They aren’t worried. Why? Because your Heavenly Father takes care of them. So think about it, aren’t you worth much more than they are? Don’t you believe your Heavenly Father will take care of you?”
All of your anxiety and worry produce nothing good and only detract from your life. God already knows everything you need. He invites you to focus on Him and develop a relationship of trust in Him. When you do, you will become free to live and work as He has called you to, knowing that He will take care of all of your needs. So, don’t lose sleep over tomorrow, because there are plenty of things to enjoy and focus on today. Look for them!
Be careful to avoid worrying about two things—or I should say, two days. Yesterday. There is not one action, word or thought you can erase. Yesterday is gone. However, God’s peace and forgiveness and restoration are never exhausted. Tomorrow. No matter what you anticipate or suspect or fear may happen, there is absolutely nothing you can decipher about it today. On the other hand, the Bible assures us, “He is the Rock: his work is perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does not wrong; how just and upright he is!” (Deuteronomy 32:4, NLT)
Serving Him with you in the marketplace,
Lord, help me convert my worry into conversations with You and my anxiety into prayers for Your peace. I can’t believe my mind is so easily carried away with things I have no control over. My worrying is a lack of faith in Your compassion and plan, plain and simple. Help me to recognize the thought patterns that start me down the trail of anxiety, so I can put them away before worry becomes more powerful than You.
“The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.” William James