Worry is used as a measuring stick.
When a loved one is in crisis, it’s as if the depth of our love for them is displayed in the time spent worrying for that person. Sleepless nights, circles under the eyes, weight gain or loss can be thought as a mark of true love and commitment.
Yet, as a follower of Christ, worry measures my lack of memory and trust in the truth in God’s good Word. In Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And in Matthew 6:27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
My head knows worry is at best a waste of energy. My head knows worry is at worst a breach in my defenses against the enemy. Worry sets my mind on the “what if’s” that are catastrophic. Jesus wants us to set our minds on the “what if’s” that are victorious.
But worry, doesn’t have a lot to do with my head. I may justify worry by saying it spurs me on to do what I can do to solve the problem for the person or situation I’m worrying about. Hogwash! My head ought to know I don’t have a whole lot of control over the person or situation.
Worry, then, has more to do with my heart. Does my heart know that “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! Jesus has overcome the world”? Does my heart know that even though there is so much that is bad in this life there is so much that is good because of Jesus? Does my heart know that this world is not my home; I am a citizen of heaven?
Actually, at its snarkiest, my heart says, “Yeah, yeah, how do you appreciate the light if you haven’t seen the darkness. Yeah, yeah, I grow more spiritually in hard times than in easy times. Yeah, yeah, Jesus is good and in the end he will make good of all situations.”
“…Yeah, yeah, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (now I’m singing with Kelly Clarkson). But didn’t most all of Jesus’ apostles die a martyr’s death? What is this, self-harm theology?”
Actually, worry is self-harm. It will not add a day to my life. It will not let me handle or enjoy today. It will not help my loved ones and their situation in the least. It may add to their burden. Ouch. It may add to their burden. (I needed to say that twice). Now they’ve gotta worry about me worrying. Now they’ve gotta feel guilty about how their situation is messing with my life. Ouch. Now my demons have a honkin’ bridge to walk over and join their demons and trounce on them. Ouch.
Worry is a more than a measuring stick. Worry is a whipping stick.