Being a pastor, I talk to all kinds of people on a daily basis. One thing is true of most people I come in contact with – they have a problem with worrying. Worry is a common thread that runs through most of humanity – whether you’re male or female, young or old, rich or poor, spiritual or not – worry has a tendency to affect us all to some degree.
Personally, I have dealt with this burden of worry for many years. I often times find myself so frustrated with my inability to counteract these thoughts of worry. Why can’t I monitor my thoughts better? Why can’t I keep myself from worrying? Jesus was clear about the affect worry has on our bodies. He said, “Who of you can add a single hour to his life by worrying?” It’s pretty clear to me from this passage that worrying doesn’t add anything to our life; in fact, I would go so far as to say it is killing us – it’s literally making our lives shorter. If you’re reading this, chances are you know the true heaviness that comes with worry. The good news is, you don’t have to continue being a slave to it. Here are five things I’ve learned over the years about how to counteract this vicious enemy:
1.Take Every Thought Captive
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” One of the things I tend to worry most about is how others perceive me. I’m afraid I wont be good enough or worthy enough for others’ approval. Many times my mind goes straight to worry without even thinking twice about it. However, recently I have been able to recognize the worry as it is approaching, take the thoughts captive, as if they were criminals entering into my mind, and throw them in jail where they belong. This isn’t an easy thing to do – often I have to intentionally take a moment, cease any thoughts in my mind, close my eyes, and ask God to help me see myself how He sees me. But ya know what? It’s been working for me. I feel much more secure and confident now than I have in the past because Jesus has been helping me counteract this disease of worry.
2.Remember Your Blessings
I grew up singing a song called “Count Your Blessings.” It was an awfully repetitive song that got stuck in your head long after you left church on Sundays, but it has always helped to remind me that I am blessed with so much in this life. If we take time to remember our blessings, we are a lot less likely to dwell on our worries. Are you taking time to thank God for all that He’s blessed you with? A good practice to get into is journaling a few things you are thankful for each day. When worry starts to enter your mind, turn your attention to the blessings you have to be thankful for that day. Worry flees when our hearts turn toward gratitude.
3.Consider the Birds
Matthew 6:26 says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” I love this passage of Scripture so much. It reminds me that our Heavenly Father is sovereign – He is in control of everything! He feeds the birds of the air and He’ll take care of our needs even more so. When you’re tempted to worry, look around you. Recognize all the ways in which God is providing for His creation. Then settle in your spirit that He will take care of you too!
4.Post Visible Encouragements
One thing that I’ve found helpful in the past is posting visible encouragements throughout my day to help refocus my attention whenever I see them. When I see one of my favorite Scriptures posted on my mirror, staring right back at me, I am automatically reminded to shift my focus to my Father and His love for me. I recommend posting visible encouragements in places that you’ll see them throughout your day – your mirror, the dashboard on your car, your desk, etc. It will help you remember who’s you are – and that worry is not His best for you!
One of the best ways to start or stop doing anything in life, is to find someone to hold you accountable. If you don’t already have a person in your life who does this for you, think and pray about who might be a good person in your life to hold you accountable for taking your thoughts captive. Accountability partners should be people who are willing to be honest with you and who have your best interests at heart. Give this person full permission to share honestly with you. Darkness can only come to the light through honesty.
Hi! My name is Stephanie, and I'm the girl behind this blog! I'm a pastor and a writer and a lover of all things chocolate. As you browse the content on this page, I hope you find yourself encouraged and smiling. At some moments, perhaps you would even shed a tear or two. Most importantly, I pray you find hope in whatever season you're walking through. We are in this journey together, and my calling is to encourage you along the way!