The Human Response Towards Worrying
We know that how we react in a given situation determines its outcome. If we laugh it off, the other party either laughs along or storms off. If we react in a manner that depicts anger, it only fuels the proverbial fire. If we refrain from reacting, in some cases, it can cause negative effects on our bodies and mental health. Being able to adjust to adverse stimuli and react accordingly is an everyday process.
How ARE we supposed to respond to adverse stimuli? Whether it be a derogatory comment, an overdue bill, unexpected news, or a nagging child (or grown-up); we are to react the way Jesus would react..."slow to anger" (Psalm 103:18) and to be "quick to forgive” (Colossians 3:13). Boy, that’s a hard one sometimes. Some people would say we are pre-designed to attack when we feel threatened. Others state we have a choice. I believe we have the ability to choice how we react to situations by assessing what has/hasn't worked in similar situations and taking full use of the PAUSE.
When we are thrown a curve ball, we are to seek the Lord, ask for help, and guidance. I'm pretty sure that inventing new curse words or heading straight to the phone to vent to your peers are not the best ideas, unless you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to make those specific calls. Remember, He knows everything and sees everything. He knew last week someone was going to ruffle your feathers today. Who better than to go to for help? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33).
I used to wear a bracelet around my ankle that read, “What Would Jesus Do?” I try to remember that question when unexpected things occur. Regretfully wearing socks made me forget I had it on sometimes. That’s like the Word. If we leave our Bibles on the shelf, we forget to seek the guidance and answers we so desperately need when trials come. When that happens, we step out of faith and try to do things our own way. So many of us have done things our own way for so long, we think we can push the Holy Spirit aside and do things better. The Lord gave us the Holy Spirit when we gave our lives to Him. If He thought we could do things on our own, what would we need Them for? By stepping out in our own flesh, we worry about things we cannot control, our mental and physical health are put in jeopardy, and more hardships are added to our lives.
Let’s discuss worrying about things. " Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"(Matthew 6:25-34, NIV). When we worry, we are telling God we don’t trust Him to make things right. Worry starts out as a thought, then leads to words, then leads to actions. All of these are negative things that satan loves to fill our spirit with. When our spirit is filled with the negative, the Holy Spirit gets kicked out. Then we wonder why we don’t hear from God. Start saying:
“Lord, I don’t know what You are up to, but I am trusting You to do the right things in my life. You know I am worried Lord, please forgive me and help me to have more faith in You to see me through this, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”
I think the hardest thing is to let go. We always think we can do more to improve our situation. It’s not so much the worrying, rather the “I can fix it myself” attitude. It’s like fixing a busted water pipe. If we don’t have the right tools, we can’t fix it. Sure we could go to the neighbor’s house and ask them for it, but who’s to say they have it either. Our Christian walk is the same way. We can’t expect our neighbor to have all the answers. Sure they might be Christians too, but they would be giving us their ideas and not necessarily the Lord’s ideas for us. The saying is not “What Would Jeff Do?”. He’d tell me to buy a boat and move to Guam! Be careful to whom you take counsel. None of us want to willingly waste our time and efforts on folly.
A former science professor of mine, who's name escapes me, said something really interesting that stuck. He said, “Species that waste time and energy are not likely to survive no matter how intelligent they think themselves to be”(Kaplan College, 2004). There’s a lot of truth to that statement. Take the lion, for instance. If the lion sits and watches the prey cross its path and does not take any time or effort to catch it, that lion will starve to death. Humans are the same way. We think that everything will be given to us if we are just patient. Don’t get me wrong. There are times when we are to be still and wait on the Lord, but there are also times where we have to get off our duffs and work for what we want. “Faith without works is dead”(James 2:26). If we want a job we pray about it, but we don’t go out and put applications in or show up for interviews, we won't get anywhere.
No matter what you are going through or have yet to face, know that God will not forsake you and He's working things out for your good. Get out of His way, be still, and focus on what really matters.