That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Matthew 6:25-30
Worry is the number one stressor in our lives today. We worry about finances, we worry about relationships, and we worry about our career path. Worry is not only the number one stressor in our lives; it’s the foundation of all stress. A great definition for worry is a fear of the uncertain future we face. The future is always uncertain, but we don’t have to make it worst by dwelling on something that has not happened yet. Not to say we shouldn’t plan for the future or even set goals, but allowing ourselves to be fearful is not what God intended for your life. The above scripture is Jesus talking about not worrying in everyday life. In the verses before that He is talking about money and possessions, how they should be a low priority over being light in someone’s life. That after all, is what our purpose and focus should be.
Our first strategy to fight against worry is to focus our attention on the now and the present, not the uncertain future. You cannot have any kind of peace or freedom from stress if you are always focused on the negative future that will probably never happen. When we focus on what is happening now and what is going on around us now, we can’t possibly have time to worry about a negative future. That brings us to my next strategy.
The next strategy is to be positive of the future. Focus on the now, but also focus on a positive future. This is where goal setting comes in. We should set short term and long-term goals to achieve, one-step at a time. They should be written down as I mentioned in my new year’s blog. Planning is not worrying; failure to plan is. When that happens worry is somewhere around the corner. Not to say that failure might happen, it can and it will, but the learning and experience in the failure can be used as a springboard for the positive future we should be looking forward to.
A next strategy is to surround yourself with people that encourage and believe in you. If you have people around you that are doom and gloom all the time and you allow them to take the life from your dreams, worry is always going to be part of your life. If you have awesome positive people around you, it’s amazing how that can help your attitude. Your attitude can always determine the outcome of your future. If you have a negative attitude, your future is not going to be pleasant. Which brings us to our final strategy, and these are probably not the only ones out there.
Be intentional in your life. Worry and fear for the future is a choice, just as looking at the future in the positive is a choice. Keeping a good attitude no matter what we are dealing with is the best way to get through failure and difficulty. This is not being in denial, but trusting in Jesus for all things. An intentional positive attitude always will get us to that positive future we are dreaming about.
Focusing on the now, believe for a positive future, keep positive encouraging friends and being intentional with our attitude will keep worry at bay. These 4 strategies will get us past our fear of the future and move us toward faith in the positive future God has planned for us. Don’t worry, have some peace in your life.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.