Ecclesiastes 11:10 tells us to “banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles from your body.” Worry can make you sick. Jesus instructs us “not to worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body” (Matt 6:25). Phil. 4:6 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything…but present your request to God and you will receive peace.”
So what do I do when I have these anxieties about my job, my health, my kids, or my marriage? A little explanation here might help. There is a distinct difference between worry and concern.
Worry takes place in the mind—most often in the imagination. We worry about things that have not yet happened. It is the “what if” syndrome. What if this lump I feel is cancer? What if my teenager is using drugs? What if my spouse is cheating? Psychologists tell us that we “rehearse our reactions” in our minds as if to help prepare for the real event. Often worry paralyzes us and we don’t or can’t take action. Worry is fear based. The constant inundation of worry crushes our spirit and robs us of joy.
Concern, on the other hand, is a reaction to a “real” crisis. If your child has a high fever, that is a real concern. If your blood pressure or cholesterol is too high, that is a real medical issue. Instead of paralyzing us, concern propels us to positive action. Go to the doctor, start exercising, and eat properly. Seek counseling if necessary.
Just for today, put all of your “what ifs” aside and experience joy this day fully. If you have a valid concern, take action. Relax, and savor the day.
Affirmation: Today I will not become bogged down in worry or anxiety. I will embrace life. I will rejoice and be glad.
Enjoying serenity together,