How Good Are You At Worrying?
One of the great wonders of the workplace is the variety of talents and abilities we observe. Some people are natural leaders, others find it easier to follow and support those who lead. Some are especially gifted in administration, directing and delegating tasks, while others are adept at personally handling a multitude of details. Some have natural skills at sales and marketing – they could sell ice to polar bears in northern Canada. Others are talented speakers, while some do their best communicating through writing.
But if there is one “skill” most of us possess in equal measure, it is the capacity for worrying. If we own a business or hold top executive responsibilities, we worry about matters ranging from how to plan for future uncertainties to how to meet next week’s payroll. We worry about deadlines, job promotions, finding a new job, or whether we will receive well-deserved (we believe) pay increases.
If our business relies on a small number of key clients, we worry about losing them. We worry about how to find new customers. We worry about our competition making changes that could have a detrimental impact on our business. We worry about the weather; the local, national and world economy; the costs of fuel; or how to keep pace with ever-changing technology and market trends.
We are so accomplished at worrying that we even worry when there is absolutely nothing to worry about. We start worrying that soon there will be something to worry about. Maybe this helps us to feel we will be better prepared for when (and if) it happens.
One of the reasons we worry is because it makes us feel like we are doing something when there is nothing else we can do. We feel good to be concerned about a situation – even if we are helpless to do anything about it. But what does worrying accomplish? Experts say at least 90% of the things that worry us never occur, so we have wasted considerable mental and emotional energy on nothing.
Including myself among those that find it easy to worry, I find it comforting and reassuring to regularly remind myself what the Bible has to say about worry:
Instead of worrying, pray. Worrying deprives us of sleep, saps our energy, and disrupts all sense of inner peace. What if you could simply transfer those concerns to someone else with the unshakable assurance that they will be properly addressed? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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).
Let God do the worrying. Have you ever tried to lift something heavy and felt relief when someone stronger than you volunteered to carry the weight? That is exactly what God offers to do for us when we commit our worries to Him. “Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
God wants to carry the burden. Has anyone ever told you, “Do not worry. I have it under control”? This is exactly what God is telling us. We worry about things outside of our control, or things that probably will not happen. God tells us, “Relax. I will take care of it. Take a load off yourself.”Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.comand www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
1. If you were to rate yourself on a “Worry Scale,” with 10 being “I worry much” and 1 being “ I worry very little,” how would you rate yourself? Explain your answer.
2. What kinds of things cause you to worry the most? How do you typically handle those concerns?
3. Have you ever prayed about the things that were worrying you? What benefit – if any – did that provide for you?
4. What do you think about the admonition to commit our worries and concerns to God? Why do you think it is so difficult to turn over to God the things that are causing anxiety for us – without wanting immediately to snatch them back?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Psalm 23:1-6; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 26:3, 41:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 11:29-30
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