I’ve often had people come into my office and describe themselves as a “worry wart.” On questioning, they also admit that both or one of their parents were the same. As they say, the apple never falls far from the tree!
However, there are no born worriers. People might think they are, but they’re not. As I’ve said to many people, I’ve never seen a baby born a worrier. Worry is something you learn.
However, worry is unreasonable for a couple of reasons.
First, worry exaggerates the problem. Have you ever noticed that if you start to worry about a future event coming up, the more you think about it, the bigger it gets?
Second, worry doesn’t work. I once heard someone argue that to worry about something you can’t change is useless. If you can’t change it what’s the point of worrying? Further, if you worry about something that you can, in fact, change, then that’s not smart. Simply just go and change it!
Your body wasn’t designed to handle worry. When people say, “I’m worried sick,” they’re probably telling the truth. Doctors typically say that the greater percentage of the physical ailments that patients present with are associated with mental health problems such as worry, anxiety, guilt and resentment.
As Proverbs 14:30 says, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body” (NLT).
Worry is unhelpful. Worry cannot change the past, and worry cannot control the future. All it does is mess up today. So, stay in the present.
As the Nigerian musician and author Babatunde Olatunji said:
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
And today? Today is a gift.
That’s why we call it the present.