FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


How You Can Overcome Worry

Webster defines worry as: A troubled state of mind; anxiety; distress; care; uneasiness; something that causes anxiety or mental distress. Another definition in Webster is: To bite, pull or tear; to harass or treat roughly as with the continual biting or tearing with the teeth as the dog was worrying the old shoe.

 

In I Peter 5:7 where we are told: “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you …” The word for care is the same word that we would use for worry; both meaning anxiety. The Greek word also means “that which distracts.” Certainly worry will distract a person from their daily routine. In Philippines 4:6 where we are told “Be careful for nothing …” The word translated “CAREFUL” would be the equivalent to our English word “WORRY.” It basically means: “To be anxious about, to have a distracting care.”

 

In the book “How To Win Over Worry” by Dr. John Haggai, 1987; he begins by telling the reader that “You can die of worry.” He goes on to say that: “half of all hospital beds in the U.S. are occupied by people suffering mental disturbance.” (According to Mike Gorman, Dir. of the Nat’l Mental Health Committee).

 

Dr Haggai quotes Dr. Edward Podolsky in his book “Stop Worrying And Get Well,” It (worry) deals with the correlation between worry and heart trouble; worry and blood pressure; worry and rheumatism; ulcers, colds, thyroid malfunction, arthritis, migraine headaches and a host of stomach disorders.”

 

                 How Worry Becomes A Sin

 

1. Worry is distrust in the truthfulness of God.

When you worry, you accuse God of a falsehood. God’s Word says that: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28; worry says that God lied.

Philippians 4:13 tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Worry says “You lied, God.”

Phillippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” If we worry, are we not saying here, God you lied to me?

 

2. Concern is not worry and it is not wrong to be concerned

      The last thing that we should do is be a people that is not

      concerned, for this leads to apathy. Concern, as

      Webster defines it is: be of interest or importance to; to

      involve or interest; a matter of interest or importance to

      one; that which  relates to or affects one as in business.

     

      We should have interests and be interested in matters

      such as our homes, our children. our jobs, our

      daily tasks, each other, hobbies  etc. etc.

      Concern is showing an interest – for the situation,

      spiritual  matters, concern for the unsaved.

3. When worry becomes a sin …..

    When it controls you rather than you controlling it

       When it causes you to  

      neglect other responsibilities

      and relationships

      When you lose hope instead  

       of finding nswers when it

       damages your body

 

4. Some causes of worryMatthew 6:25-34

   a. A threat to something that is important to you: danger,

       loss of self-  esteem; separation from  others;

       undermining of our values; the impact of outward

       influences upon us; loss of job or the threat of a layoff;

       deep in debt; threatened by another person

       or persons; etc. etc.

   b. Danger: crime; war; violent weather; unexplained or

        unexpected illness; taking a test; even a visit to the

        dentist can produce worry.

       Why? Because the person is uncertain about what

       to expect and feels helpless to prevent or reduce the

       threat.

   c. Self-esteem: Most people like to look good and perform

       competently. We feel threatened by anything that that

       might harm our self-image or imply that we are not

       competent. Many will become anxious in a new social

       situation because they are not sure just how to act or

       feel threatened by the re-actions of others.

       Some people will avoid taking an exam, accept a

       promotion, or risk failure because of the

       possibility of failure and that it poses a risk to their self-

       esteem.

   d. Separation: Being on your own can be confusing, and the

       pain can be intense when we have been left or rejected

       by an important person or by one that we love.

       The death of a loved one; moving; divorce; the breaking

       of an engagement; all can lead a person feeling uncertain

       about the future and saddened by the 

       gaping inner emotional void, and the wonder of

       “What do I do now? or “Where do I go from

        here?”

   e. Values: We will feel threatened when our freedoms are

        in danger of being undermined or taken away.

        When someone else mocks or ridicules what you

       believe in or stand for; morals and religious beliefs, etc.

   1. Unconscious Influences: Threats and influences can

       be pushed into our unconscious by ourrefusing to deal

       with it; the refusal to communicate with one another.

       They will stay within our subconscious and fester and

        then when you are forced to deal with it, you really

        do not know how to deal with it. If we hide the

        problem in the back of our mind, hoping that “it will

        go away,”  We do ourselves and others a great  

       disservice. Remember …. it doesn’t go away until we

            deal with it.

g.  Conflict: When a person is influenced by two or more pressures there is a sense of uncertainty that often leads to worry. People basically approach conflict in three ways.

     1. The approach-approach: example, you may be faced

         with two different invitation on the same night. 

         To decide which one to attend can often be difficult

          and sometimes it causes annxiety or worry.

          2: Approach-avoidance: You want to do a particular

              thing, and then………………………………… you don’t.

              Example: You may be offered a new job; to accept

              may bring new opportunities and more money and a

              chance for advancement; (the approach).

              On the other hand, it may necessitate a move out

              of town or out of state; the inconvenience of

              re-training; leaving friends and loved- ones,

              etc. (the avoidance).

          3. Avoidance-avoidance: Here, you have two

               alternatives, both of which can be unpleasant.

              Example: You may have severe pain or an illness

              and need an operation that will also be  painful and

              put you out of commission for a while.

              Most conflicts involve a struggle between two or

              more alternatives. There is a positive and a

              negative to them. Worry and anxiety will exist until

              the choice is made, and sometimes after the decision

              is made while you wonder… “Did I really make the

              right choice?”

h. Fear: I John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love  casteth out fear …”  Different people are afraid of failure; the future; rejection; war; intimacy; success; taking responsibility; conflict; a meaningless life; sickness; death; loneliness; change; and a lot of other real or even imagined possibilities. Sometimes, these fears build up in one’s mind and create intense anxiety and worry as well as discouragement and depression; even when there is the absence of any real danger.

i. Un-met needs: Each of us may have a different view of what our basic needs are in life.

   Each of us might have different answers, all of which would  be correct in your own personal life. If we  fail to meet these or other needs, we can begin to worry over them. You may feel that all is “up in the air,” or you may feel frustrated or afraid. Now…lF all of your needs were met, would your life

   be complete, satisfying and worry free? Most likely not.

    Remember … psychologists’ tell us that our feelings

    can  change from 2,000 to over 3,000 times per

    day. 

   I Peter 5:7-9; and II Corinthians 11:3.

             We can have no lasting freedom from our worries

             until we are at peace with God, resting in

             His promises and knowing the stability that comes

             from confessing our sins and realize that

             we have been  forgiven when we have confessed

             them.

j. Individual differences: People react differently to

   the same problems and situations. Then there are those with claustrophobia; hydrophobia; and other phobias that are not in themselves dangerous.

 

4. Some Effects of Worry

    a. Physical reactions: Ulcers, headaches, skin rashes,

        backaches, and various other physical problems.

    b. Psychological reactions: if you have taken an exam or

         applied for a hard-to-get job, you will know what I

         mean. Did you ever have your mind go “blank” during

         a test?  The actor who forgets their lines while

         on stage? We often worry if we will get it right or

         remember what we are supposed to

         remember, and by doing so, we have anxiety and we

         worry ourselves into failure.

    c. Defensive reactions: Ignoring the situation; pretending

        that it does not exist; rationally explaining-away the

        symptoms; blaming someone else for your problems;

        alcohol; drugs; and other things in hopes that it will all

        just go away……………….  and it don’, does it?

    d. Spiritual reactions: Sometimes problems may motivate

        us to seek God’s help that we have previously ignored.

        Many people do turn to God in times of stress.

        On the “flip side” of this; worry and stress can drive

        people away from God at the time in which they need it

        most. They quit reading their Bibles; slack off in their

        prayer life; start missing church: bitterness about why

        the Lord is .so seemingly silent in the face of your crisis.

        People get angry because bad things are happening to

        good people.

 

        This is where TRUST comes in. When we begin to see

        another Christian faltering under the weight of stress

        and worry, we need  to read Galatians 6.

       

Overcoming Worry #2

Some causes of worryMatthew 6:25-34

   a. A threat to something that is important to you: danger, loss of     self-esteem; separation from others; undermining  of our values; the impact of outward influences upon us; loss of job or the threat of a layoff; deep in debt;  threatened by another person or persons; etc. etc.

   b. Danger: crime; war; violent weather; unexplained or       unexpected illness; taking a test; even a visit to the  dentist can produce worry.

 Why? Because the person is uncertain about what to expect and feels helpless to prevent or reduce the  threat.

   c. Self-esteem: Most people like to look good and perform       competently. We feel threatened by anything that that  might harm our self-image or imply that we are not  competent. Many will become anxious in a new social  situation because they are not sure just how to act or feel threatened by the re-actions of others.                                    Some people  will avoid taking an exam, accept a promotion, or risk       failure because of the possibility of failure and that it poses a risk to their self-esteem.

   d. Separation: Being on your own can be confusing, and the pain can be intense when we have been left or rejected by an important person or by one that we love.                                                  The  death of a loved one; moving; divorce; the breaking of an        engagement; all can lead a person feeling uncertain about the future and saddened by the gaping inner  emotional void, and the wonder of “What do I do now? or   “Where do I go from here?”

   e. Values: We will feel threatened when our freedoms are  in danger of being undermined or taken away. When someone else mocks or ridicules what you believe in or  stand for; morals and religious beliefs, etc.

  1. Unconscious Influences: Threats and influences can be pushed into our unconscious by our refusing to deal with it; the refusal to communicate with one another.                                                                               They will stay within our subconscious and fester and then when you are forced to deal with it, you really do not know how to deal with it. If we hide the problem in the back of our mind, hoping that “it will go away,”  We do ourselves and others a great disservice. Remember …. it doesn’t go away until we deal with it.

g.  Conflict: When a person is influenced by two or more pressures there is a sense of uncertainty that often leads to worry. People basically approach conflict in three ways.

     1. The approach-approach: example, you may be faced with two different invitation on the same night.    To decide which one to attend can often be difficult  and sometimes it causes annxiety or worry.

     2: Approach-avoidance: You want to do a particular  thing, and then………………………………… you don’t.                                       Example: You may be offered a new job; to accept may bring new opportunities and more money and a chance for advancement; (the approach). On the other hand, it may necessitate a move out of town or  out of state; the inconvenience of re-training; leaving  friends and loved- ones, etc. (the avoidance). 

3. Avoidance-avoidance: Here, you have two alternatives, both of which can be unpleasant. 

Example: You may have severe pain or an illness  and need an operation that will also be painful and put you out of commission for a while.  Most conflicts involve a struggle between two or more alternatives.                                                                                                                    There is a positive and a negative to them. Worry  and anxiety will exist until the choice  is made, and sometimes after the decision is made         while you wonder… “Did I really make the right choice?”


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