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 to 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 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 imagination 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 is wasting your time when you envision a negative response from your boss while she/he reviews your proposal. Worry is robbing 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 and friends, a restful night’s sleep? Worry has the potential to become your greatest enemy in the marketplace, and in life as a whole.
Jesus addressed this issue in straightforward terms. I have found Scripture to become more meaningful to me when I personalize and paraphrase it in my journal. This is what I have drawn 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?
Besides that, does all of your anxiety and worry produce anything good?(NO!) Does it add more to your life? (Absolutely not!) God already knows everything you need. He invites you to focus on Him and develop a relationship of trust with 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, there are plenty of things to enjoy and focus on today. Look for them!
Be careful to avoid worry about two things—that is, two days. One is yesterday. There is not one single action or word or thought we can erase. Yesterday is gone. However, God’s peace and forgiveness and restoration are never exhausted. The other day is tomorrow. No matter what we anticipate or suspect or fear may happen, there is absolutely nothing we can decipher about it today. On the other hand, from the beginning 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 no wrong; how just and upright he is! (Deuteronomy 32:4, New Living Translation)