Are you someone who excessively worries about what's going to happen in the future – whether it be tomorrow or years down the road? This has been a struggle of mine for most of my life; however, it's gotten drastically better over the last couple of years. Some common things people worry about are work/getting a good job, finances, relationships, what others think, and the past. We're told throughout the Bible to not worry (or be anxious), but before I jump into more specifics of what God tells us let's just start with the health effects of excessive worrying.
There are several health effects caused by excessive worrying. The first is tied to our nervous system. When we worry too much, it can trigger our nervous system to release stress hormones. These stress hormones can cause your heart rate, breathing, and blood sugar to increase. In the long run, this can affect your heart, blood vessels, muscles, and other systems in your body. Other side effects of worry include muscle tension (which can cause migraines), weakened immune system, and stomach problems. Learn more of the health effects of worry here.
(Note: sometimes excessive worry stems from anxiety disorders. If you think you might suffer from anxiety, talk to your doctor about ways to help.)
Do not be anxious
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is from the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 6:25-34:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
In this passage, Jesus gives examples of how He cares for the birds and the lilies. If God takes care of these things, how much more will he care for those who are made in His image? God will take care of you. Therefore, you don't need to worry about getting specific grades in school, getting a good job, where you'll live, getting married, etc. – God will provide for you! When we're constantly worrying about our future, it's showing a lack of trust in our Creator. Instead of wasting your energy worrying, work on your relationship with God and strengthen your faith. When you do start to feel anxious, turn to God.
Philippians 4:6-7 states: "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
We're told not to worry about the future. Does this mean we're not supposed to prepare for our future?
Planning vs. Worrying
Although we're told not to worry or be anxious, the Bible does teach about the importance of preparation. We can trust in God while also taking responsibility for the things we're supposed to handle. An example of the importance of preparation is found in Luke 14:28, "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?"
God expects us to put in work; He’s not going to hand us everything. However, we need to be careful to recognize when we put too much pressure on our works. Worry begins when we anxiously care about something without also entrusting it to God.
Remember Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
The next time you find yourself worrying, ask yourself: "Am I really helping myself by worrying?" More often than not, you will be hurting yourself more than helping. I encourage you to live in the present instead of worrying about the future and trust in God to provide for you.
Anxious about your finances?
At SEM, we understand that a lot of people's anxiety/stress stems from their finances. We're here to help you with your financial situation AND we want to do it from a Biblical perspective. We created a multi-session workshop on "A Biblical Approach to Finances". An overview of the workshop can be found on our website: https://www.semwealth.com/financial-workshop
If you're interested in the full workshop, fill out the form at the top of that page.
Cornerstone Impact Update
New Cornerstone Partner!
Hundredfold Advisors is a registered investment advisor (RIA) established in 2004. They are unique in that they are owned by a non-profit, Simply Distribute; meaning all subadvisory fees earned are given to the non-profit. Simply Distribute supports medical, religious, scientific and educational activities throughout the world. It's great to have another partner who is focused on making an impact in the world!
Simply Distribute Charitable Foundation
Simply Distribute has been around since 2004. Over $8 million has been distributed, with about $500,000 coming in last year to support medical, religious, scientific and educational activities around the world. Jeff met with the firm this week and they are looking to distribute $1.5 million this year! The foundation's main goal is to improve humanity. I'd encourage you to read more about the organizations Simply Distribute has helped here.
We look forward to working more with Hundredfold and their mission!
If you have any questions or would like more information on how to align your investments with your faith, please contact me. You can also learn more about the Cornerstone Portfolios at: SEMWealth.com/Cornerstone.
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