How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted?
I may be very much at peace, happy.
Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.
I acknowledge how I really am.
It is the real me that the Lord loves. (from SacredSpace.ie)
How AM I really feeling? A few situations near and dear to my heart immediately pop into my mind. As I examine these feelings I wonder, Am I concerned or am I worried?
Is there a difference? To me, concern is a healthy interest in an actual matter of importance. On the other hand, worry is an unhealthy anxiety over a matter that is merely a potential.
When I am concerned about a situation, I am able to see the facts involved and admit there is a problem that needs remedied. Though the situation may cause me hurt, fear, or anger, I am able to pray about it, do what I sense God calling me to do, and then I can let go of what I am powerless to change. There is nothing wrong with having concerns—we all have them. There is no sin in admitting that problems weigh on our minds and hearts.
However, when I am worried, my assessment of the situation is distorted. I make a mountain out of a mole hill. I feel desperate and frustrated, and though I try to pray, my mind just keeps repeating the what ifs, like a scratch in a phonographrecord above, causing the needle to skip back to the same groove and play it over and over. I feel paralyzed by fear and can’t seem to release the situation into God’s hands.
Can anybody here relate? So how do we move from worry to concern? What does God’s Word advise? Biblestudytools.com offers 15 Bible Verses About Worry and Anxiety where we can find comfort and peace by meditating on God’s Word and casting our cares upon Jesus! Here are just a few of my favorites:
- “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
- “Cast all your anxieties on Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
- “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for You are with me. Psalm 23:4
An eye-opener for me was realizing that most worry is a failure to genuinely trust in God’s love for me. David Peach in his article, “How to Stop Worrying: 7 Tips for Christians”, says, “Worrying sends a message to ourselves and those around us that we are helpless and have nowhere to turn.”
That, quite simply, is not true!
We are not without help; As Christians we have Someone to turn to!
The Bible clearly teaches that Christians are not to worry. We can move from worry to concern by taking Philippians 4:6 to heart, “Do not be anxious [do not worry] about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Ready to move from worry to concern?