Worry is like a plague to our bodies. It attacks our mind, then our heart, and over time, it can consume our overall health.
Wouldn't it be great to never worry again?
I'm not sure this is humanly possible—although I can't imagine either why Jesus would give a command He wouldn't fully allow us to obey.
Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life." How good are you at obeying that verse?
But, then again, He commanded a lot of other things I'm not perfect at either.
So I'm still a work in progress.
I know this, however. One part of maturing as believers is to begin to eliminate worry from our lives. Certainly, as we mature in our Christian life, we should, over the years, worry less.
Let me share a few things I've learned, which may help.
Here are five suggestions for having less worry:
1. Pray more. It's a trade-off. You can pray or you can worry, but you can never do both at the same time. Which would you rather do? Seems to be a reasonable trade. How amazing is it the Creator of sunsets wants to have a conversation with me? Worry seems to be a cheap substitute in this regard.
2. Do wise things. As a believer, sin is always going to cause my inner conscience to feel guilty—which usually translates quickly into other emotions, such as doubt, anxiety and worry. When I know I'm doing the best I can do, my heart is freed of needless worry.
3. Read more. Of course, I'd recommend the Bible. I think followers of Christ should read it every day. It's where we find the hope, faith and trust spelled out for us by God Himself. But we should read things, which speak of truth and bring encouragement. For some people this may mean turning off the news and reading. In our home, we opted not to have a television in our living room. We have to "go" watch TV. It's not that television is necessarily bad, but I just don't seem to find much that really encourages me these days. I try to read at least one chapter of a Christian book every day, in addition to my Bible reading. The point is when we fill our minds with good things it crowds out some of the bad things.
4. Choose your thoughts carefully. The apostle Paul said to think about these things—"whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things" (Phil. 4:8). I always ask myself: Why worry about what I can't control? Why worry about what might happen when I can choose to think about good things that are happening? And lots of good things occur every day—when I choose to think about them.
5. Trust more. This really is the key to worrying less. The more I trust—the less I worry. I can step up my faith because I know God is on His throne. He has a plan and He will do what is best. Every time! And listen, the key to trusting Him more is simple—spend more time with Him. Like any healthy relationship, it grows stronger with time and effort. The more you know God, the more you will love and trust Him.
Here's to a worrying-less lifestyle. Who's with me?
Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.