Wednesday, February 25, 2015
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”—Matthew 6:34
Have you ever been gripped by fear? You know the feeling. Your blood goes cold. You get that shiver down your spine. Your hair stands on end. (In my case, that is singular, not plural.) Your stomach sinks. Your mouth goes dry.
Then there is the other emotion that is often coupled with fear, and that is worry. There are a lot of things people can worry about today. The state of our country. Our economy. Terrorism. The threat of a war. We are a nation filled with worry.
But there is nothing productive about it. In fact, the word worry comes from an old German word that means “to choke” or “to strangle.” And that is exactly what worry does. It chokes you spiritually. It creates an emotional and mental stranglehold on your life. It doesn’t ever make anything better. In fact, it makes things worse. That is why Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34).
Paul tackled this problem in Philippians 4 when he wrote, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (verse 6). Where was Paul when he wrote those words? He was incarcerated in Rome. He didn’t know what was going to happen to him. So there was Paul in a difficult situation, and what did he say? “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”
What happens with worry is that our hopes pull us in one direction while our fears pull us in another. When you worry about the future, you cripple yourself in the present. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.