Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting out of the Snare of Worry

Worry is a word I am very familiar with.
Too familiar.
It's a known fact, some people worry more than others.
Another known fact is that some people worry way more than they should.
One fact that may not be well known is that worry is a sin.
Every time you worry, you are sinning.
Ouch...
Kinda changes your perspective doesn't it?
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As Christians, we really have no reason to worry.
God is in control of everything, good or bad.
He knows what is going to happen before it happens.
And the best part is that He has a reason for everything.
He has a plan.
Sure it is not quite what we had planned...
but you can always count on the fact that His is better.
Though you can't see how now,
it may become clear down the road.
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Ok Ashley, worry is a sin...I get it. But how do I stop worrying?
It just happens, I have no control over it!
WRONG!
That's the way I used to think.
"It's just how I am...I can't help it."
What a lie. What a wrong mind set.
That way of thinking is what kept me in the pit of despair during my 7th-10th grade years.
I wasted all those years being miserable.
Not just miserable...but miserable for myself.
Me me me, that's all I ever thought about.
That is practically what worry is, focusing on yourself.
"But I don't only worry about me! I worry about my grandma's health, my dad's job, my school grade, my voice performance coming up!"
Ok, but are you focusing on God?
No? Then you are focusing on yourself.
What good is it thinking and worrying about those things
when you can just give them up to God?
You are wasting your time and energy.
The time and energy you could be funneling into so many other things
such as reaching out to others, being a leader, and deepening your relationship with God.
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If you are in caught in the snare of worry, have no fear.
I know exactly what you are dealing with.
Here are some ways to begin the long trek towards a worry free, self free life.
And a life that is focused on others and the Lord.
1. Take your eyes off yourself.
We literally have to train ourselves to do this.
It does not come naturally, thanks to our sinful nature.
But it can be done.
Starting is the hard part.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself when no one is talking to you at youth or school,
look around for someone else who is not being talked to.
You have to be a friend to have friends.
Instead of going to the mall and worrying about how you look
or what people think of your new super cute new hair style, open your eyes!
Do you see anyone who needs help?
Mabye a old lady needs help carrying some bags, or someone dropped a bunch of coins
and is scrambling around trying to pick them all up.
And there is always someone out there who could use a nice bright smile.
It doesn't come naturally! I know!
But the more you do it, the more it will just come naturally...
and the more you will feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
2. Worship and praise God.
"Worship is...
a place where we can drown out the voices of fear and doubt
with a flood of adoration and praise.
And as we come before the Lord, He reminds us of all that He is,
and that increases our faith."
The Prayer that Changes Everything by Stormie Omartian
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This is a tool I used quite alot during my battle with worry.
Every time a worry popped into my mind I beat it back by singing a
worship song or muttering a Bible verse praising God.
Or just come up with your own praises.
Here are some to get you started.
* I praise You for being my Prince of Peace.
* I thank You that in Your presence I can find peace for my soul.
*Thank You that You are greater than any of my problems.
* Thank You that You are always with me.
*I worship You, Father God, for You are my Lord and King.
* I'll praise You God whether I feel like it or not, and no matter what is happening.
*Thank You for renewing my strength like the eagles.
* Thank You that You haven't given me fear but have given me your love,
power, and a sound mind.
~Praise the Lord, O my soul, and don't forget all He has done for you~
~Psalms 103:2~
4. Meditate on scripture
I don't mean the sit cross legged and empty your mind "uuummmm...." kind of meditation.
When I talk about meditation, I mean the kind where you ponder and
focus on a passage of Scripture.
Huh?
Here is a little cheat sheet that helped me when I was just learning about this
meditating thing. When you read a passage, say these 3 questions to yourself.
* What does this passage teach concerning God's will for a holy life?
* How does my life measure up to that scripture? Where do I fall short?
*What definite steps of action do I need to take to obey?
"When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that is called worry.
When you think about God's word over and over in your mind, that's called meditation.
If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate!
Just switch your attention from your problems to Bible verses.
The more you meditate on God's word, the less you have to worry about."
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
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Worry is a complicated and very personal topic.
I know, I used to struggle with it every single day.
I am going to be completely honest though...
you will struggle with worry for the rest of your life.
It's not just a fase, something you will just "get over".
You have to constantly work at overcoming it.
The more you work at it, the easier it will become.
And never forget this truth.
With God, all things are possible.
God bless,
Ash
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Here are some books I recommend if you would like to know more.
*The Prayer that Changes Everything by Stormie Omartian
*The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
*Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer
*The Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

4 comments:

KatySue Pillsbury said...

Great post! We all need to stop worrying and focus on God, I know this but it is still very hard most of the time! =)

Ray said...

THANK YOU for posting this!

Beth Ann said...

That was a real encouragement Ashley. Really needed that. Today was "one of those days"...and it was filled with a lot of worrying...which caused a breakdown. I'm thankful that God has been reminding me of the fact that I should be focusing more on Him and less on me. Thanks for the post. ;) ♥

Barriss Offee said...

Great post!! Very true, worry is a sin. I've never thought about it that way before. =)

-Barriss :-D