Be Anxious For Nothing

“Be anxious for nothing...” - Philippians 4:6a “Be anxious for nothing” – what an amazing feat that would be!  “Nothing” it says. We’re not even given a little room to be anxious for a few small things.  God is telling us that NOTHING is worth robbing us of our peace.

Worry can become a lifestyle, a habit that shapes our attitudes and erodes away our faith. 

The habit of worry can gain such a stranglehold on your life that it becomes part of your personality.  You find yourself approaching situations with an anxious attitude, and eventually it begins to rob you of your health and your joy.

Doesn’t everyone worry? 

Maybe. 

Maybe it’s even normal. But it is still a sin. Why? Because it violates some of the most basic commandments of God and because it robs us of a close relationship with Him.

C.S. Lewis, in his masterful book, “The Screwtape Letters” describes just how hard our enemy, Satan, works to cause us to sin. Written from the point of view of the demons, who regard God as the Enemy, he writes:

[Senior devil Screwtape to junior devil Wormwood]: “There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He [God] wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them worrying about what will happen to them.”

If we can be kept worrying about tomorrow, then we are distracted from that which really matters. 

Anxiety and worry cause us to carry burdens our heavenly Father never intended us to bear, and to turn what in reality are small matters, better left to God and His wisdom, into heavy devastating circumstances. No wonder Jesus warned us about the “cares of the world” (Matthew 13:22)!

I know that it’s easy to tell someone—even if that someone is yourself—not to worry, that it’s a sin, etc. etc. But it is hard to put it into practice when you are accustomed to worry and your anxiety levels rob you of the strength to fight it. I liken it to athletic training or just getting into shape.

There is an answer. 

Prayer and trust. 

But sometimes all you can do is start with step one and utter a simple prayer asking God to help you pray. 

Then you step back, with no condemnation, and let His Spirit minister. Even if you don’t feel it, you can know He is there.  Every day, at every wave of anxiety, pull your mind away from the subject, think about Jesus and His love, and say a prayer. And every day you will grow stronger.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” —Corrie ten Boom

[Photo: Rich Wooten, Creation Swap]