I know of no one who has not experienced worrying. Telling ourselves or anyone else not to worry is about as productive as digging a hole with a toothpick. Worrying is a lot of hard work that accomplishes nothing.
In our world today, there is no lack of available opportunities to fret. Economics, health, relationships, homes, children, car trouble, education, employment, etc., etc., … and on and on it goes. If we worry hard enough and long enough, it can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach upset, ulcers, arrhythmias, low back pain and muscle tension. It prevents us from thinking clearly. Prolonged and persistent anxiety can lead to panic attacks.
When we worry, we sacrifice our time – time that we can’t regain. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus asks us, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Chap. 6, vs. 27 / NIV) When we focus on the object of our worry, we aren’t focused on God and His provision for us. We can’t trust and worry at the same time. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 / NIV)
Researchers have noted that one of the difficulties in overcoming worrying is that people think it serves them in some way. They recommend learning a habit of postponing worrying. So maybe there was something to Scarlett’s comment in Gone With The Wind when she said she would “worry about that tomorrow!” By postponing the act of worrying, the mind is conditioned to think that it will be allowed to worry later. They suggest you write the worrisome thought on a piece of paper, forget about it, and tell yourself that you “will worry about that later.” It allows the mind to be tricked into thinking that it has not given up worrying. While forming this new habit, the old habit of worrying in the present moment is pushed aside.
The Lord bids us to come to Him with all of our cares and woes: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 / NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 / NIV)