8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Have you ever had a wad of gum in your mouth that you have chewed a bit too long? It has no flavor, it’s stale and nasty and, with every chomp, it seems to grow.
Until you have no choice but to spit it out as soon as possible, before it overtakes your entire oral cavity.
Worry is like that wad of gum. The more you mull your problems over, the bigger it seems to grow.
Until you have no choice but to spit it out as soon as possible, before it overtakes your entire cranial cavity.
The problem with getting rid of worry is that, while you realize that old piece of chewing gum isn’t actually growing in your mouth, worrisome thoughts seem to be real.
Getting rid of worry isn’t as simple as spitting out the thoughts. It requires replacing the bad thoughts with good. First, pray in faith to God, giving thanks to the Lord and recognizing that He is with you. Always.
Then, instead of worrying, rest in Christ and fill your thoughts with the truth. What we worry about rarely comes to pass. The reality of life is that God is in control. While there are things we can control (such as our thoughts and actions) there is far more we cannot (like outcomes and the thoughts and actions of others). God is truth. And if He says don’t worry, don’t worry.
Think on whatever is honest, of good character. What character does exhibit? One of Truth and Love and Grace and Strength. Whatever God says is honest. And if He says don’t worry, don’t worry.
Think about what is just, pure and virtuous. Evil cannot touch you if you are a child of God. Will bad things happen? We all face hardships at some point in our lives, but we need not fear. Even when we don’t understand why we’re going through what we’re going through, we can trust that God’s plans and intentions are just, pure and virtuous. And if He says don’t worry, don’t worry.
Ponder what is lovely, of good report and praiseworthy. In other words, stay positive. Stay grateful. See that the Lord is with you always. Understand that Jesus died for you. Accept that the Lord loves you. Realize that His grace – all we truly need in this life – is there for you. It is a gift. No one deserves grace. But our Heavenly Father gives it to us out of love. And, yes, God loves you. And if He says don’t worry, don’t worry.
If you’re mulling around worries and doubts, don’t give in to anxiety. Don’t bow to fear. Trust in the Lord. Rest in His promises.
Spit out that old, stale gum. It’s time for some fresh thoughts.