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Crossroads: Success or Failure by Chris Potter of StockMonkeys.com, www.stockmonkeys.com.
Crossroads: Success or Failure by Chris Potter of StockMonkeys.com, www.stockmonkeys.com.

Is Success Based on Your Ability to Worry Well?

I know people who believe worry is the key to their success. If they don’t worry about the account, the sales, the market, their kids, their relationships or their personal finances, then they are not being responsible. Worrying about these things keeps them in check. It makes them a good employee, a good parent, a good spouse.

But does it really?

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

That’s not to say you can’t feel anxious, but rather, it means not to exist in a state of worry and panic. The scripture says “do not be anxious” (emphasis mine). And the word “anxious” in the original text would more accurately translate to the word, “worry.”

It’s okay to have an anxious thought. It’s not okay to sit in a corner and let your mind be consumed with fear of the unknown.

First, for those that believe their success rests on their ability to worry well: There’s a difference between worrying and planning.

Planning involves setting up a budget, discussing your financial concerns with your spouse, pursuing advice from the experts, and setting realistic goals. Worry involves fretting about the mortgage, laying awake at night wondering how you’ll make that next payment, and considering all the ways your happy home will spiral into financial ruin.

Planning involves “think[ing] about and arrang[ing] the parts or details of (something) before it happens or is made.” Worrying involves “think[ing] about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen.”[1]

Planning can include Jesus Christ. Worry cannot. Because worry says, “It’s okay, God. I can handle it.” As if the Creator needs our assistance!

Sure, worry involves faith: faith in oneself.

Second, success doesn’t hinge on your ability to worry; it hinges on your ability to surrender. Worry involves a great sense of pride. Surrender involves trust. Faith.

I love what Deuteronomy 8:11–18 says. Though Old Testament scripture specific to a group at that time, it is absolutely applicable today:

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.  You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today (emphasis mine).

We must be careful to never forget that our success is not the result of our ability to worry well, but is the result of God’s grace and provision. Don’t forget to give Him the credit.

Have you bought into the lie that worrying seals your success?




[1] Definitions taken from Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

About Samantha Arroyo

is a freelance writer and contract copywriter who lives in the seacoast region of New Hampshire with her husband, Eric-Thomas,of five years. She currently serves alongside her mother as the Marketing Director for God’s Girls Christian Store and More, a online retail store serving the southern New England region. Her work has been featured in several print and online publications, and she is the recipient of two Faithwriters’ Editors Choice Awards for her short stories, which are scheduled for publication in the Mixed Blessings series. Her first book, Fragile: 30 Days of Hope for the Anxious Heart, is now available at samanthaarroyo.com. She can be reached at [email protected].

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