Spiritual Director · July 24, 2017

Devote #67

So, let’s have a serious talk about worry. You know the thought and the feeling because you most likely have done it before… not just once, often. And for some of you, it’s a lifestyle. Some people I know just can’t help it. They’ve lived their life that way for so long, it becomes their first and last reaction. But can I tell you; it not only ruins your physical health but can also raise havoc on your spiritual well being.

What are some of the physical effects of worry? You can suffer from headaches, stomachaches, heart problems and a host of other ills that are due to your worry. No wonder Jesus asks the questions…
“Can worry make you live longer? If you don’t have power over small things, why worry about everything else?” Luke 12:25-26 CEV

Here are a few others things I’ve noticed about worry and how it affects us.

Worry makes us less productive. Our faith motivates us and empowers us, but worry paralyzes us and immobilizes us. It causes us to lose our concentration and our focus and evidential it turns us into procrastinators. I’ll admit, there have been times when I had something I needed to do, but I really didn’t want to do it, or was thinking I wasn’t going to succeed at it, so I put the job off until further notice. All it did was prolong the agony.

Worry can also cause us to mistreat people. Most people who are worriers aren’t necessarily pleasant to be around. Most often they’re tense, fidgety, sometimes resentful and complainers. But they believe worry is their calling in life, or their spiritual gift. However, worry then blinds them to the real needs of others and how they can actually be a help to them. We become so preoccupied with our problems that we can’t reach out to minister to those God’s put in our path. Jesus certainly had many reasons to worry if you think of how many times the Pharisees were trying to kill Him, but still He walked in love, and He always gave a helping hand and encouragement to others.

But probably the most detrimental affect of worry is how it hinders our ability to really trust God. You see, worry is rooted in fear, and fear and faith can’t coexist. They are total opposites. Faith enables us to hear and receive for God. Fear gives the dark forces of this world an inroad into our lives and circumstances. You worrying is really like telling God, you don’t trust Him or believe in Him and it leaves you taking matter into your own hands.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Jesus said, “I tell you not to worry about your life.” (Luke 12:22 CEV). Trust Him! Believe Him! Give Him all your troubles and concerns! “Your Father knows what you need. (Luke 12:30CEV)

Today, I cast all my worries to You. They’re killing me while Your trying to save me. Forgive me for not trusting You completely. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.