Friday, November 19, 2010

Axioms, Adages, and Proverbs (5): Worry...

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength."  (Charles Spurgeon).

"Worry.  Anxiety.  Stress.  These are the ways of the dark side."  (Yoda).  Ok, Yoda didn't ever say that, but I'm sure he might have or could have.  This quote by Charles Spurgeon hits the nail on the head.

There are really only two categories of things in our lives;
1) Things we can control
2) Things we can't control.

Everything falls into one of those two categories. When we worry about things in category number 2, we turn ourselves into God. Another word for this is "self-idolatry"... and idolatry of any kind is sin. Yes, that's right, worry is sin.  The opposite of worry?  Trust.

A couple of years ago a counselor I was seeing at the time broke it down very simply; things in category 1 are my "to-do" list; and things in category 2 are my "prayer list." This making sense to you?

The antidote to worry is trust. It's really the only thing that will help. Those who constantly worry have little faith...their need is to control the situation, which again, takes God off the throne and replaces Him with themselves. The secret to trust is knowing who you're trusting in. The only way to gain this is through intimacy with God. He wants it, we need it. This is why everything hinges on greatest commandment, to love God with your whole being...with everything. Love is a VERB (and for those who forgot their English lesson, a verb is an action word).

I learn best visually so let me try these equations for you;

Loving (verb) God = Intimacy with God
Intimacy with God = Knowing God (His true nature).
Knowing God = Increased trust in Him.
Trusting God squeezes out any room to worry.

And when we are living close to God, trusting Him in all things, we are STRONG. There is a depth and strength in the person who is intimate with God. That is the beauty of Spurgeon's quote; worry empties today of it's strength, but turn that around, trust and intimacy with God fills today with strength.

The wisest man who ever lived put it this way;

5-6 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God's voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.

(Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message)

Don't focus on not worrying; focus instead on knowing Him...intimately. That will negate the worry that plagues you.  This reminds me of one other fantastic quote - and let us strive to live like this...

"The happiest people I know are the ones who have learned how to hold everything loosely and have given the worrisome, stress-filled fearful details of their lives into God’s keeping." (Charles Swindoll)


Anonymous said...

i like this. i like the way you explain it!

One of my closest friends has been trying to explain to me about Category 2 for a long while.

❤cherelle said...

Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

Mike, I don't know what you were paying that couselor, but I think you got you money's worth in session you just described. Thanks for this sharing this.