Worrying is something that comes natural to us all. As parents, we worry about our children. As employees, we worry about job security. Lack of financial stability brings worry. Marital issues give birth to worry. In general, potential lack in any area brings worry.
Is it possible for worry to become an idol in our lives? My answer to this question is yes! Anything that comes before God is an idol. I can make an idol out of anyone or anything, but worry becomes an idol when it becomes exalted to a position of obsession.
What Does the Bible Say?
God’s word has a few things to say about worry. Jesus spoke of worry at least twice during his time on the earth. In Matthew 6:25-33, He addressed our concern with having our needs met. Jesus told those around Him to avoid worrying about what they would eat, drink, or wear. He went on to say that our heavenly Father knows we have need of those things. In verse 33, Jesus exhorted those listening to seek God’s kingdom first and His righteousness, then all other necessary things would be added to them.
If you back up and read verse 24, Jesus stated that no one could serve to masters. One would serve either God or money. I find it interesting that Jesus discusses money right before He says not to worry. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knew that money is an issue for many people. It takes money to have food, clothing, and other necessities. However, seeking God above all else will result in everything else falling into place.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul writes that believers should be anxious for nothing. In other words, rather than worry, we should commit everything to prayer. He further states that by presenting our requests to God, we would be allowing God to guard our hearts and minds. Worry begins in the mind, then, proceeds to the heart. These areas must be guarded in prayer.
Another Area of Worry
Jesus addressed another source of concern for believers. Of course, at that time, He was directly addressing His disciples. Now, we can apply His sayings to our own lives. The source of worry that He addressed was worry over what His disciples would say to their persecutors when handed over to them.
In Matthew 10:19, Jesus stated for His disciples not to worry about how they would answer government officials when arrested. Jesus gave assurance that He would give them the words they would need to speak.
Although we might not be persecuted as the disciples were, this type of worry can consume us. For example, if I have to confront someone (this should always be done with much prayer, fasting, and humility), I often rehearse what I am going to say, and I have even planned what I would say if the person responded in certain ways. When we have to confront issues, it is best to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our words. If we have to face someone who is belittling us, we must trust God to give us the words to say, or, trust Him if He tells us to say nothing. He knows what is best.
The Fruit of Worry
Has any good thing ever come from spending time worrying about various matters? Someone once said that worry is like a rocking chair. It will take you back and forth but get you nowhere. I have found this to be true in my own life. When worry surfaces, prayer should be the result. Once the matter has been committed to God, thank Him for what He is going to do about the situation.
In Exodus 4, Moses worried about what he would say to Pharaoh. God assured Moses that He would be with Him. In Genesis 16, Sarai worried that she would not have although God had promised that she would. Worry resulted in Sarai taking matters into her own hands and giving her maid, Hagar, to Abram as a secondary wife so they could have children through her. This was a custom that took place in the East during that time period, but it was not God’s will. As a result, Abram and Sarai had to deal with the consequences of their actions.
What has you worried? A child? A job? An enemy? A spouse? Even if the source of your concern is your ministry or church, God has the answer. Do as the word says, and by prayer and supplication make your request to God. Allow His peace to guard your heart and mind. It is not easy if you are addicted to worry, but it is the only way to tear that idol down.
Why do we think we can take better care of issues than God? We might never make such a statement verbally, but when we worry excessively, refusing to give our concerns to God, we make an idol of our worries and think they are best left in our own hands. Do not be deceived. Give your cares to the Lord and let Him give you perfect peace.