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Are You Worried About Being a Worry Wart?

Face of a worrying woman showing how we can be worry warts.

In the early 1920's, cartoonist J.R. Williams included a character called Worry Wart in his comic strip Out our Way, panels based on amusing situations and his own life experiences. Initially, the Worry Wart character caused other characters in the comic strip to worry. As time went on, the meaning of the name came to mean the opposite. It came to mean a person who worries excessively about things.

Good News and Bad News

If you worry, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is worry has its benefits. Worry can motivate you to act, to accomplish things you might have put off, and to face problems head on and solve them. Worry can make you more alert to details and help you avoid surprises.

Worry distracts you and drains your energy.

Then there’s the bad news. Worry can disrupt your daily life as you dwell on what could happen and not pay attention to what God is doing in your life and expecting from you. Worry distracts you and drains your energy. It is a waste of time and can even paralyze you. And isn’t it interesting that at some point you end up worrying about how much you worry.

Needless Worry

We often dwell on things such as difficulties and troubles even though there is no apparent reason to do so. Have you found that most of the things you worry about never happen?

Here is an activity you can use to help you cure yourself of the worry wart mentality. Make sure you first prayerfully make God part of the process, asking him to be a lamp until your feet and a light unto your path.

Perform this Exercise

Take a plain sheet of paper and create four columns.

  1. Designate the first column “Worries." This is the column in which you list the things about which you worry. Keep it simple. Use a word or short phrase. List whatever comes to mind.

  2. In the second column, list worries in the first you cannot affect.

  3. In the third column, list the worries in the first about which you can do something.

  4. In the fourth column, note things about which you worry that could fall into columns two or three. These could be things over which you have some but not complete control. Put the sheet of paper away and revisit it.

Create a plan of action and make a commitment to follow through. Make God part of the process through prayer and meditating on his Word. You will see that much of your worrying is a needless waste of your time and energy, time and energy that could be dedicated to serving the Lord and others.

Most importantly, this exercise, performed on a regular basis, perhaps monthly or more often, will help you keep the events and circumstances of your life in perspective. This habit will go a long way to prevent you from being a worry wart.

Additional reading:

Listen to God’s Words

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

Also read: Matthew 11:28-30, Proverbs 12:25, John 14:1

In the Words of Others

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” Mark Twain

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” Benjamin Franklin

“Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think About It

Revisit your list occasionally. Ask yourself the following:

  • Why did I place the worries in column two, three, or four?

  • What surprises me about my choices?

  • Which “mole-hill worries” have I made into mountains?

  • Which items are actionable?

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