by Steve Goode
I would like to take the liberty of crafting a Biblical definition of what worry really is. Worry is the chronic or even occasional act of dwelling on our negative actions and circumstances with no confidence that a solution will ever be revealed. In fact it is rather faithless to feel this way, but I believe we can all sympathize and relate to this type of worry and anxiousness. It’s the kind that makes your stomach feel slightly knotted with just a dash of increased heartbeat. Once you have reached this point it’s hard to stay focused on anything else! Maybe you are dwelling on how to pay the bills, your relationship to your spouse, or some other negative or uncontrollable circumstances. It could be you are caught up in dwelling on regrets or past mistakes and you just can’t shake the flashbacks! Let me be the first to confess that I have traveled down most of these dwelling roads and it is no picnic. In fact in some cases we can feel situational feelings of depression over what we let our minds dwell on. Sometimes the symptoms of worry can be so emotionally painful you may be tempted to get a prescription thinking it will fix your anxiousness, but trust me, unless you have a true chemical condition it won’t work. There are no magic pills.
Now that I have gotten you good and depressed I bet you are wondering where this is headed. We have learned that we arrived at a bad place because we dwelled on the wrong things. In fact the Bible tells us to fix our thoughts on honorable and true things. He desires for us to spend time on things that are worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)
The problem was never simply fixing our mind, but fixing it on the wrong things! Quiz yourself and see where you have been letting your mind dwell. Can you honestly say it was fixated on pure and honorable things?
We need to understand that to worry is a sin! The Bible says that we are to worry or be anxious for nothing. (Phil 4:6) Paul goes onto tell us that we are to pray and give thanks to God because he is the ultimate peace giver! The result of bathing your issues in prayer is that God will guard your heart. Wow, we can be protected and guarded by God where we can be hurt the most, our heart. We are also specifically told to cast all of our cares on Him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) As we go down the list of scriptures we appear to be losing more and more traction on our reasons to worry.
Dwelling appears to play a major role in our worry so let’s talk for a moment about where we should allow our minds to dwell. There must be a place somewhere for a child of God’s mind to dwell where it can feel completely and totally safe from the circumstances and hurt of this world! To answer this I would like to tell you about an elderly gentleman my wife April and I used to help care for in 2000. His name was Roy Harris and he was a 90 year old homebound Alzheimer’s patient. Each time we would go by to see him we would ask him to recite Psalm 91. You see, even though Roy was in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s he had memorized Psalm 91 when he was younger, and even through all he had forgotten, that Psalm still dwelled in his mind. The first verse said “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow Almighty.” (Ps 91:1) I learned a great deal from Roy about where my mind needs to dwell if I want a true sense of peace and contentment. I can dwell in the very presence of the Almighty God! I do this by spending extended time in reading the Bible and prayer. There is no better way to rid your body of the feelings of worry and anxiousness! In fact Jesus Christ has been subjected to the very same temptations, worry, and anxiety that we each face every day. The Bible says that Jesus experienced all of these emotions while on earth. Jesus understands and cares deeply for you and where you are in your life. (Heb 4:15-16)
If you have bothered to read to this paragraph you have a question to ask yourself. Where has your mind been dwelling? Have you been worried and anxious about many things in and around you? My prayers are with all those who have allowed worry and anxiousness to encompass their lives. I pray that you will dwell in the shelter of the Most High today.