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Don’t Worry – Be Happy!

Don’t worry, be happy! PDF

“… casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”

Benenden Health Study on Worry

Benenden Health, a health-care provider in England did a world-wide study on worry[i]. Their findings are quite interesting:

Top Ten Worries

  1. Stomach/ being overweight
  2. Getting old
  3. Lack of savings/ financial future
  4. Overall fitness
  5. Overdrafts and loans
  6. Low energy levels
  7. Credit card debt
  8. Paying rent/mortgage
  9. Job security
  10. Diet

 

Most Common Effects of Worry

  1. Sleepless nights
  2. Lost confidence
  3. Arguments with partner
  4. Reduced appetite
  5. Poor performance at work
  6. Distance from partner
  7. Avoided a social event
  8. Increased alcohol consumption
  9. Got a bit paranoid
  10. Nausea

Additionally, they found that we worry 14.31 hours per week, which works out to 744 hours per year and averages 5.2 years of worry in a lifetime!

Notice two interesting points about the top ten worries list.  First, they all fit within two categories: health and finances.  Second, all ten revolve around single most important thing in life: ME.  Notice how we are so selfish that we don’t even allow our own children, community, country, spouse or friends and family even one spot in the top ten. In fact, ‘Friend or family issues’ comes in at number 22 and ‘Parenting skills’ at 23.  ‘Child’s health’ comes in at number 27, after pet health (26).

Now, consider the top ten worries and the most common effects of worry- notice any connection?

A Christian Perspective on Worry

Do Christians worry? Sure, we do.  Sometimes it seems we wear our worry as a sign of our Christian-ness; we worry so much for the sake of our children, for our church, etc. Like the Pharisees raising their hypocritical hands on the streets, showing off their ‘holiness’, we want the world to see us as super-Christians as we worry about things that are so wrong.

But worry is a sign of humanity.  We worry because we are human. What, then is a Christian to do??? Remember a few (there are many) key verses:

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:5-6 (ESV)
 
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14 (NASB)
 
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (KJV)
 
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
 
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7