The Command You’ll Break in Bed Tonight

upset-534103_640I had a very productive time of worrying today.

Truly, it was a work of art!

I spent an hour or two worrying about my children and their lives have definitely shown improvement. I spent another hour fretting over our finances and, guess what? Big difference in our bank account, baby!

Finally, I invested quality time getting worked up about my weight, health, marriage and my husband’s career. I can now report that I’m thinner and stronger, and my husband’s business prospered. Tonight, I’ll put in another hour or two of quality worry in bed. My husband even promised me a romantic evening in gratitude for all the worrying I’ve done on our behalf.

Okay, that’s not really what happened, but, you knew that. Because you’ve spent precious hours of your life worrying, too, and not a moment of it has served to produce one good thing.

In fact, if you’re like me, worrying has resulted in insomnia, backache, stress eating, and acid reflux to name a few unhealthy byproducts. Not to mention the toll that voicing my worries has taken on certain relationships in my life that will go unnamed in order to protect – well – me.

God tells me (and you, too) not to worry. He says it clearly, too.

You’re familiar with the direct command not to worry in the Sermon on the Mount (“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry!” Yup, it’s clear even in the original Greek!). There’s also a precursor to this command in the Old Testament where God repeats throughout Psalm 37 “Do not fret,” as if we didn’t hear Him the first six times.

Hmmm, wonder why?

So, we know God commands us not to worry. We know it produces unfavorable results in our lives and relationships. And we know it doesn’t change a thing so WHY DO WE WORRY? What’s the payoff? There must be something in it for us or we wouldn’t keep at it, right?

First, let’s blame Satan. That’s a no-brainer. None of you will argue with me here. Satan whispers in our ears from the moment we wake up until the moment we can’t fall asleep – reminding us of all that can go wrong in life and offering the sweet temptation to fret about it.

Of course, God’s given us weapons that work to silence Satan – namely an assault rifle loaded with the ammo of truth known as Scripture. We could defend against temptation with that. It is, after all, the weapon utilized by Jesus in the desert. So what’s good enough for Him should really work just fine for us, right?

Secondly, we can blame the media. You’re all with me on that. From morning shows to commercials to late night, television aims right at our guts, the heart of our insecurities, our sleepless, waking pit of fears.

Have we got enough insurance? Are we emitting offensive odors? Are our teeth white enough? Has a cyber-stalker targeted our daughter? Are we missing signs of serious illness in our loved ones? If we didn’t have family dinner every night when they were growing up, does that mean our sons will eventually commit violent crimes? Could place-mats have kept our kids off drugs?

And it isn’t just television spreading the worry virus but all forms of media. NPR has a news report about the risk that old age could lead to death! The magazine you pick up at the doctor’s office says one of the ten easiest ways to pick up a virus is from touching magazines in doctor’s offices. The novel you’re reading tells the harrowing adventure of a woman trapped by her own fears – wait, no, that’s your journal. Never mind.

So, we can be more selective about our media consumption and more prayerfully aware of the daily assault of these messages on our spirits. Yeah, that could help.

But, the third problem is the hardest to overcome. We lack role models for living a worry free life. Most of the people we know are plagued with this same problem, as if we’re all in training for an Olympic medal in anxiety, and the others are – well – men –so that doesn’t help. (I’m kidding! Of course, I’m kidding! I know men who worry – plenty of them.)

Living free from worry is so counter-cultural, so revolutionary, so rare, we can onlyconclude that it must be Biblical!

This means, freedom from worry can only be obtained through supernatural means like the kind of power it takes to get a camel through the eye of a needle, to make a blind man see, or to raise the dead. It requires the kind of devotion to Christ we see in the book of Acts.

That just makes me want it more and shows me, too, that it’s hard but not impossible that we could become a generation of non-worriers. Since we know the Creator and Commander of the Universe, shouldn’t we be among the most relaxed people on the planet? And wouldn’t that get some attention.

I’m declaring war on worry. Step one is to fortify my arsenal with Bible verses to use as defense. Step two is to remain aware of the messages coming at me during the day and the deception inherent in them.

Step three is . . . well, I don’t know step three yet but I’m NOT going to worry about it now. That’s right. You heard me. I’m stepping out in the name of Biblical living, a personal Jesus revolution. I’m inviting the Holy Spirit to stage a sit-in in my mind.

Who’s with me? Ready to escape from worry? I’m not talking Zen, people, this is way beyond Zen, we’re talking Christ-like, we’re talking Kingdom come, we’re talking full-throttle trust in Jesus – Are you with me?

You don’t have to have been raised in the sixties to be counter-cultural. The revolution is here now.

Talk to me, fellow adventurers. Am I a lone worrier or one of a tribe? Anyone else seeking deliverance? What’s in your arsenal? Are you a fellow revolutionary? Let’s have a conversation . . . (now I’m worried no one will comment . . . no, I’m not . . .yes, I am . . . not giving up)

Let’s be in this together. Share below the ways you combat worry and anxiety in your own life – the Bible verses, the activities, the prayers, the defenses you employ. Truly, let’s create a community of peaceful followers beginning here and now.

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    The Conversation

  1. Cyn Rogalski says:

    Between hubby, the dog, and me in our bed, there’s no room for worry! That badboy gets licked to the curb!

    Another great post, Lori! Thanks!

  2. Yep, I’ll join the No More Worry Club. Thanks for the Scripture to ponder. I’m sure it will be more effective than counting sheep. 😀

  3. Patti Shelley says:

    Thank you for this post – perfect timing. Although I do fairly well at not worrying, Satan is always around every corner and it is a constant struggle to rest in God’s Word. But, what a Peace it is when I succeed! I honestly don’t know how people get through a day in this crazy world without having a Savior to turn to.
    Love your writing and am blessed to have found (been led to) you!

  4. Carla Allaire says:

    The KJV says ‘take NO thought’ which means ‘forget about it!’

    We just went through Matthew 5-7 on the Sermon on the Mount and dissected every verse. I had never done that to quite that extent before, and I gotta tell you, it was ROUGH! Be meek, be humble, put others above your needs that by the time we got to the ‘take no thought’ verse the LAST thing I was concerned about was my hair or clothes or luxuries of home! But NONE of this can be accomplished by our flesh. It’s God and God alone that can transform us into truly new creatures. It’s a journey, but one that is SO worth it!

  5. Barb Irwin says:

    Worry used to shout at me till I started using scripture against it. The last couple years it’s usually a nagging whisper. I think the only way to really vanquish it will be to continue to get to know Father’s heart through an even closer relationship. Otherwise, I end up just covering it over with “good stuff.”

    • Monica McKinnie says:

      I started to sense some years ago now that I needed to practice gratitude. I mean, I already would automatically say, on finding a beautiful flower in the forest, “Oh that’s lovely”. But I realized I needed to be more consciously grateful and add “Thank you”. And I started to do so. And as I started to do so I found I was more actively grateful for a lot of things. And about 2 years into it I found that where I had been a real worry-wort before, I was considerably less of one. I still have anxiety moments. But my constant worrying over things that really were unlikely to happen and my imagined disasters just gradually faded away. I still have moments when I haven’t done the finances for a while and I put it off because I’m worried about what I will find! But they are always unnecessary worries! And they are less frequent. Considering I used to put it down to genetics – my granny was a worrier, my mum is a worrier, what hope do I have? – I’m actually no longer a worry-wort. So I would say, practicing gratitude…antidote for worry.

  6. Jenn Convey says:

    SO right there with you on this one. We’re walking into what may be a tough season in my house, and I know full well I could consume myself with worry. And the ‘world’ would understand. I’m trying to do this differently though. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  7. Mary Felkins says:

    Another great post, Lori. I’m especially grateful that the absence of placemats is not to blame for my children’s poor choices. Instead I’m thinking it’s the fact that I made them perform their 4 B’s each morning: Bible, Bed (as in make that thing), Breakfast, and Brush (as in teeth)…sigh. Who knew?
    The way I combat worry is to choose gratitude. Lack of gratitude is, I believe, the fountainhead for all other sinful attitudes and behaviors. Romans 1 makes it clear that they neither acknowledged him nor gave thanks to Him. And we all know how the rest of that icky chapter reads 🙁

  8. I haven’t defeated worry by any means but I’ve started a couple tactics that help me considerably. When I feel worry – or any negative thoughts for that matter – knocking on my brain I say, often out loud, “Jesus, please go answer the door.” Then I gleefully picture that negativity shrieking and fleeing when it sees Him. Makes me smile every time.

    At night, I focus on one of my fav praise songs: We fall down and we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus. I think through the day at all the things I’ve enjoyed or accomplished and lay each thing at His feet. By the time I finish offering my day to Him, I’m asleep.

  9. Gary D. Wright says:

    This is the first time I have ever posted. Hi, my name is Gary, I resemble that “Men” comment young lady, HA! I wish I was a non-worrier. Jesus and I have been struggling (mostly successful) with my issue of worry for the last two years.

    Thanks for the article, it’s always easier to hear you are not the only one.

  10. Kim Wilbanks says:

    Yes! I am ready to join you in the battle against worry! I think that God must shake his head at me sometimes with the things that worry me (like worrying about worrying). The thing that helps me the most is calling scripture to mind. It is amazing how He will remind me of a verse from either a Bible study or just reading. The other thing that I have really been working on this year is trust. Trusting that what the Word says is true!