We have been talking about mental health, specifically anxiety and depression. Today we will be talking about one of the biggest mental health issues which is so common in our culture but it is often overlooked and completely ignored.
According to the World Health Organization, Americans have a bigger problem with this issue than people in any other country. The most affluent society in the world is the most worry filled society.
Because of a sinful nature of worry, we tend to default to fear and not faith. This is pretty obvious when we realize we are not awake at 2 am trying to figure out how to manage peace and joy.
Instead, we are thinking about our child’s wrong friends, health concerns, job stress, aging parents and of course the big things, terrorism, wars, politics, racism, and many others.
We tend to experience worry in our minds. We generally experience anxiety in our bodies. Worry is often very specific to something and anxiety is generally broad. Examples might be that you are worried about missing a flight and anxious is more about the traveling the entire trip.
An approach to consider is to take a few minutes and write down the top worries you have in your life right now. These would be the things that are making you feel insecure and keeping you awake at night. It is important to be honest because these are your current vulnerabilities.
Now, you can take your list and compare it with some of the five biggest topics that most of us worry about. Finances, food, fitness, fashion, and future.
There are many areas in the Bible that Jesus tells us not to worry. Let’s get specific…
Finances – Matthew 6:24 “…You can’t serve both God and money. [Finances]”
Food, Fitness, Fashion – Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; [Food] or about your body [Fitness], what you will wear [Fashion].”
Future – Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow [Future], for tomorrow will worry about itself…”
If your problem has a solution, why worry. If your problem does not have a solution, why worry.
Jesus doesn’t just tell us not to worry. He makes a convincing argument as to why we shouldn’t worry.
Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Maybe it is time to start thinking about things a bit differently.
Today, you might think about things as Concern and Worry.
Concern: My marriage is struggling… Worry: I will lose my wife.
Concern: I gained 12 pounds… Worry: I am going to start having health issues.
Change your thinking to Concern and Action.
Concern: My marriage is struggling… Action: Get counseling.
Concern: I gained 12 pounds… Action: Cut back on soft drinks.
Concern focuses on challenges and moves you to action. Worry focuses on what’s beyond our control and results in inaction.
Matthew 6:27 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Just remember, you worry and nothing gets better! Actually, your mental health gets worse.
God is not going to let you down. It might not be the answer that you are expecting but it will always be the right answer. You are very valuable to Him.
When you worry, you are basically saying:
God, I don’t really trust you! God, I don’t trust your plan! God, I don’t believe you are with me! God, I am not sure you are really good!
Remember: What you worry about most reveals where you trust God the least.
Most of the time, what we are worried about doesn’t even happen and if it does happen, God will carry you through it.