“The man that worries about his own death will die a thousand times before death comes for him.” – Unknown
That quote was on my first family doctor’s office wall. It was the caption to a painting of a young man gazing into a mirror, with the reflection of an old, withered man staring back. I will never forget it.
Worrying accomplishes nothing. Whether you worry about death itself, situations, money, or terrible (and often irrational) “what if” situations, worrying only serves to cause you to live out the dreaded situation before (if it even does) come to pass. In the end, most of our dreaded fears never materialize, meaning that we suffer needlessly.
What is even worse is that with much worry often comes discouragement and even sin. At the least, worrying can discourage you from doing what you ought to do for God, and at the worst, it can cause you to sin. Sometimes, just worrying about what might happen will tempt us to act upon it as if it is happening. How foolish!
It’s not just a good idea not to worry, it’s actually a divine command. “Be anxious for nothing.” Philippians 4:6 says the Word. That is a command, hence it is actually a sin to worry. It is a sin because worrying automatically implies a distrust of God. For God promises to take care of us. He promises it over and over and over in both the Old and New Testaments. I am not even going to list scriptures to support that, because if you read the Bible at all you will find plenty of promises from God to take care of His children.
I leave you with this passage from the Gospel of Luke, where the Lord is teaching His disciples about worrying and God’s provision for us. One day when I was worrying about things, it greatly encouraged and convicted me. May it do the same for you.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor 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, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:22-34