Articles by Stan Dean

Under-Praying Equals Over-Stressing

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Most of us tend to be challenged by worry from time to time in our lives and for some it is a greater problem than for others. It seems that whenever and wherever I have addressed this subject it hits a nerve with the majority of those who hear it. Hence, let us briefly consider it here.

It has always been a point of interest to me to see what people worry about most. Some of the specific things that make many lists would include things like: finances, kids, etc. But let me call to our attention to the broader areas of worry.

I do not know where these statistics originated, but I believe they are defined quite well. Here they are:
 

  • 40% of the things we worry about never happen. So, these are “potential” problems we bring on ourselves. William Ralph Inge wrote, “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.”
  •  30% of the things we worry about are things that have already happened. In other words, they are things of the past that we cannot change.
  •  12% of our worries are health concerns. Interestingly, they are not issues that we are presently dealing with, but those we think we will.
  •  10% of worries are about trivial matters. As we like to say, “They do not amount to a hill of beans.” Yet, we allow ourselves to worry anyway!

 That leaves only 8% of “worry matters” in our lives that actually present a legitimate concern. That does not give us license to worry about even them- - but this should help us to see the futility of our worries.

Christians ought to be the most worry-free people on the face of the earth. Why? The Bible teaches, “Don't worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God's peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings” (Philippians 4:6, 7).

Not only does God tell us to not worry, He tells us how to prevent it by prayer and putting our trust in Him! (cf. 1 Peter 5:7). Thus, under-praying leads to over-stressing!


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