We live in a world that benefits from our worries. Worry sells millions of dollars worth of products. It shapes the lives of many. At the far end of the spectrum, worry controls us. Here’s Jesus’ advice on ending the worry habit.
“For God gave us a spirit, not of fear but power and love and self-control.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7
The world around us has a way of exciting and amplifying problems. Not only that, slick advertisers have a way of making us concerned about things that aren’t necessarily problems at all.
Make no mistake, fear sells. A well-known emphasizing tactic is “the fear of missing out (FOMO).” It’s a psychological trick to make us think we will miss out on something we need or something others will have that we won’t.
Worry and fear are also used to manipulate us, even control us. The media uses fear-based headlines to get us to read to earn money so advertisers can sell us products we may or may not need.
The problem is that we are constantly indoctrinated with a sense of anxiety and fear, neither of which are suitable for our mental health.
The only remedy to this situation is not to believe the hype or allow yourself to be manipulated or convinced you should be fearful. To break the cycle of worry, you must reject fear.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
– Matthew 6:27
Jesus’ teaching here is that no amount of worry will change the situation. Christ is commenting on how useless worry is.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Jesus points out how needless worry is, as God will provide our basic needs.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its trouble.”
– Matthew 6:34
Jesus acknowledged that there are real troubles in the world. All of the aforementioned is not to say that we should ignore all bad news or that some things the media tells us aren’t real concerns.
However, each person can only control what is within their grasp. It’s pointless to worry about things you cannot change.
But Jesus reminds us that God will provide the “needful things” necessary for our existence. Bad things might and will happen to some people. But to worry about things that we can’t control or have not occurred yet accomplishes anything other than burdening ourselves with unnecessary anxiety. Deal with things as they might happen, not as they might be.
The apostle Paul understood this teaching by Christ and advised:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Let go of anxiety and worry. Be humble and grateful for all you have, walking in fearless confidence. Put your faith in God and Jesus Christ.