years ago my husband Michael and I went camping
with our good friends, Mark and Faith. One evening
around the campfire, we talked about worrying,
and which partner does the majority of it in
each couple. We all laughed when Mark joked,
"I don't have to worry - Faith does enough
of it for both of us!"
confess that like Faith, I tend to be a worrywart.
Recently during one of my worrying phases, I
read a Bible verse that spoke directly to my
heart. The verse was Psalm 37:8: "...Do
not fret - it leads only to evil."
the wisdom in that statement. How many times
do we work ourselves into a frenzy over situations
whose outcomes are out of our control? How much
energy is wasted fretting over things that might
happen but never come to pass? One study found
that 97% of the things people worry about never
happen. What a tragic waste of spiritual, emotional,
and mental energy!
physical ailments such as ulcers and headaches,
here are some other consequences of worry:
of these contribute to health, effectiveness,
or happiness. Any one of these evils - let alone
several combined - can easily drain the life
right out of you.
realize that overcoming a life-long habit of
worrying can be a daunting challenge. Here are
some tips I have discovered over the years that
help me break out of the worrying mode.
find a friend who will listen objectively as
you describe what you are worrying about. Often
I find that my worry loses its power when I
put it into words. Usually before I can even
finish, I think to myself, "Why am I getting
so worked up over that?!"
analyze the situation with this question in
mind: How much of this is really under my control?
One giant step toward inner peace is accepting
that much of what happens around you is beyond
your control. Decide on a positive plan of action
for those things you can change. Make a rigid
commitment to let go of those things you cannot
lastly, be aggressive in taking thoughts of
worry captive and not allowing them to steal
your peace of mind. When worry tries to sneak
in after you've already let go, get ruthless.
Say boldly, "Get away from me, worry. You
are not welcome here. I refuse to dwell on anxious
Chambers, author of the devotional classic,
"My Utmost for His Highest," wrote
that it is one thing to say, "Don't fret,"
but a very different thing to have such a disposition
that you find yourself unable to fret. It is
my goal to leave the worrywart behind so that
someday I will find myself, as Mr. Chambers
described, completely unable to worry.
Twigg is an author and speaker who loves
inspiring others to live more simply. This article
is an excerpt from A Month of Mites: 31 Devotionals
on Simple Christian Living, a book about giving
God the best you have to offer (http://www.countingthecost.com/mites.htm).