Q & A

How can we overcome worry and anxiety?

Do you worry? Has anxiety become your companion? Do you find yourself fretting over things that have not yet occurred? Worrying is nothing new. It’s been around a long time and there is no sign of it going away.

Jesus spoke about worrying, identifying its cause and offering a divine and permanent solution. His words are recorded in Matthew 6: 25-34.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

There are several things we need to say about worrying:

  1. The word for worry comes from a Greek word meaning ‘to strangle.’ That’s an apt description, for worrying is something that has a very destructive effect upon our life. The medical profession acknowledge this to be true. And, in extreme cases, worrying can literally kill a person.
  2. Jesus shows that we worry about things over which we have no control. Worrying about the weather has never brought out the sunshine. So much of what we worry about will never come to pass anyway so it is a needless and fruitless exercise consuming our energy, our time and destroying our life.
  3. The cause of worry results from a lack of faith in God. By worrying, we behave as if God doesn’t exist. Or if he does, he can’t fix whatever it is that concerns us. Either way, worry is a declaration that we don’t trust God.
  4. The solution to worrying, Jesus said, is to give consideration, thoughtful reflection, to the work of our heavenly Father. Look around at nature displaying beauty and complexity. The fingerprints of God are all over his creation. And yet we, his children, are more precious, more important, more loved that anything He has ever created.
  5. We worry about the future when all we have is the present. The future is off limits to us. It’s not ours. All we have is the present. And Jesus said that we must not live in time that the our Father has not given to us, but in the time we have right now. The present!
  6. The prayer of every Christians should be, ‘Lord help me to see you as my Father, the creator and sustainer of all things. You know my every need and will not neglect me. How could you? Help me to live my life entirely for you today and if you bless me with tomorrow, I do the same.’ That’s faith, and that’s the solution to worrying.