"DO YOU worry?"

Does that sound like a stupid question?

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Who doesn't worry?

If someone claims not to ever worry, I am sure we would all like to meet that person and find out his secret.

I believe we all worry, but in different degrees, levels, heights, or depths.

What is worrying anyway? Worry comes from an old English word that means to strangle or choke.

I believe worrying is dwelling on negative thoughts, a dwelling on fears, of what might happen.

No one has a crystal ball that foresees what will happen later, tomorrow, weeks from now, and much more so, years from now. If so, does it make sense to dwell on negative thoughts we are afraid might happen?

There is nothing wrong with planning for what might happen, and to prepare for the future. In fact, we all should. We should expect the best and be prepared for the worst, but we should not let the worst case scenarios bother us, by worrying about them! Chances are, they won't even happen.

Worrying is letting the negative "What ifs?" rule our thoughts. We know that our thoughts affect our feelings, our feelings affect our actions, and our actions determine our performance. Our repeated actions determine our habits, and our habits are reflective of our character.

There is nothing wrong with having a "Plan B" for a "what if" scenario. But should we let a negative scenario preoccupy our minds and worry us to death? "Sick with worry" and "worrying ourselves to death" are more than just expressions. We truly can get sick and do shorten our lives by worrying!

My dearest “worrier”,

What is the key for overcoming worry?

Norman Vincent Peale once wrote that substituting FAITH for FEAR as your dominant mental attitude is the key.

Faith and fear are both great forces. One is stronger than the other. And I agree that faith is stronger than fear.

Thus, if we fill our hearts and minds with faith, a "proportionate amount" of fear can be displaced by faith in our hearts and minds. Can we remove fear entirely? No! In fact, God placed it in our hearts and minds to protect us. Imagine if we would all be "fearless" at all times? Wouldn't we become reckless, and in the process harm ourselves? Fear of the Lord and having just a reasonable level of fear that makes us cautious and prudent is what we should aim to have.

Are you worried now?

Try writing down what you are worried about today; yesterday, the day before, and so on.

Does your list get shorter for each day, as you go back into "history"?

In hindsight, were your fears for each of those items well founded? Did the "worst case scenarios" happen? Was it worth your time to have dwelt on those negative thoughts and fears? Was it worth it to have worried about them?

If I may share how you and I can overcome worry…

1. Acknowledge our fears.

2. Boldly face up to them.

3. Have faith in God and let Him conquer our fears.

How do we have faith?

Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

And what is His message to us on overcoming our fears?

Isaiah 41:10 says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

And may I pass on a simple prayer:

"I live the past to God's mercy; the future to God's providence; and I live the present moment in God's love."