Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34
At first glance there seems to be little connection between the physical act of strangling and the mental process of worrying. However, the word worry is derived from the old German word wurgen meaning “to choke.”
Somehow, by extension, the term came to be used to denote “mental strangulation” and then to describe the condition of being harassed with anxiety or care.
What is the Heimlich Maneuver for this mental choking called worry?
FIRST, CONDENSE IT WITH GRATITUDE. Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I read that a dense fog, blanketing seven city blocks to a depth of one hundred feet, could be put into a single water glass. That is, all the moisture, the water droplets, in a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of one hundred feet could be held in a single water tumbler.
Worry is a lot like that. Worry is a fog that can cloud our vision, knock our perspective out of kilter, and slow us down to a shuffling, halting walk. But like a fog, if most of our worries were reduced to their real size they could all be placed in a water glass.
Being thankful for what I have can help do that.
SECOND, DISPENSE WORRY WITH WORK – POSITIVE ACTION. I found the following idea helpful:
“Worry is one of the most futile emotions. You can spend the rest of your life worrying, and it will not change a thing. Understand, I define worry as being immobilized in the present because of concern about something in the future over which you have scant control. You must be careful not to confuse this definition of worrying with planning for the future. If you are planning, and the present-moment activity will contribute to a more effective future, this is not worry. It is worry only when you are immobilized now about a future happening.
Is there something choking your spiritual life?
Apply the Heimlich maneuver. Spit it out.
Condense it with a realistic look at the problem and gratitude for the blessings you have.
Dispense with it by taking whatever action is possible to improve your situation.
Jerry Barber via Central church of Christ 12 24 1987
WHY IS IT WRONG TO WORRY?
A writer once entitled his best-selling book, How To Stop Worrying and Start Living, which might be a good title for this article. Is there a need among Christians for a study on worry? There is little doubt about the fact that we do, for most of us spend far too much time worrying either about something that happened yesterday, or about something that is almost certainly going to happen today, or about some other thing that may or may not happen tomorrow.
With our Bible before us, let us consider some reasons why Christians need not worry.
WORRY IS DISHONORING TO THE LORD. When we worry, we doubt God, and nothing dishonors God so much as when His people fail to believe and trust him. Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own’ (Matthew 6:24). This admonition is preceded by a reminder of God’s loving concern and care for His children which is the basis of our trust in God. Therefore, why worry, knowing that God will provide all the necessities of life? The Christian should not worry about anything for we have a God who truly cares for us (Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7).
WORRY IS DAMAGING TO OURSELVES. There is nothing that works greater havoc in our life than persistent, continual, gnawing worry and fear and anxiety. How often has it been said that it is not work that kills but worry – and how true this is! Worry damages us mentally and physically, but it is also damaging spiritually, for worry will rob us of peace and power and will place a barrier between ourselves and God. Worry paralyzes the Christian’s walk. Prayer and thankful supplications to God enable us to enjoy a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6,7).
WORRY IS DETRIMENTAL TO OTHERS! How effective can we be in evangelizing the lost if the world looks at us and see us full of unbelief, worry and fear? On the other hand, when during trial and strain and stress a Christian manifests quiet confidence in God, what a great proclamation this is to the world. How calm Jesus was on the eve of His arrest, trial and crucifixion. As a result, even a Roman soldier was compelled to confess “Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54). Don’t you think a life lived with complete trust in God would have a positive impact upon others?
When we worry, we play right into the hands of Satan. How pleased he is when he sees us worrying instead of trusting God. Worry is a prayer to the wrong god. It is utterly useless and is a foolish, nonsensical, and impractical pastime of people. It has never lifted a single burden, solved a single problem, or dried a single tear. Prayer is the supreme remedy for worry for prayer taps into the unfathomable resources of God. Therefore, “cast all your anxiety upon him . . . (1 Peter 5:7).
Henderson KY Via Dasher Church of Christ
He was in prison. The feel of cold steel and in the incessant rattle of the chains was an endless reminder of freedom as a pleasant memory, but not a present reality. Moreover, a sword pierced his soul as certain factious brethren strove to intensify his afflictions. However, though held tightly in the vise of adversity, Paul exhorted, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4).
For unbelievers, life if one huge tragedy. It is birthed in pain and ends in sorrow. Its joy is superficial and transient. It is void of meaning and hope. It is one long, dark journey that culminates in despair.
For the faithful child of God, life is not lived in the Eden of ecstasy. It is punctuated with disappointment, sorrow, pain, and suffering. However, every tear of affliction is coated with the soothing salve of joy.
Joyless Christianity is a contradiction of terms. The Christian life is marvelously wonderful. Joy permeates the soul upon realization that sins of yesterday are forever buried in the cemetery of the past. Walking in the light beautifies each present moment as the umbrella of blood divine shields the soul from every spot or stain. “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:8).
Provisions of grace and blood banish doubt, guilt and anxiety. Each day is adorned with purpose and meaning. Even a cup of water offered in the name of Jesus receives notice from Him on high.
Life grows sweeter and more meaningful with each passing day. The hoary head quickens the anticipation over the joy that shall be on the morrow. A thousand lifetimes of suffering would seem nothing with heaven at the end of the way. How indescribably lovely is the joy of the Christian life.
Frank Chesser Via Dasher Church of Christ