Following the announcement of the result of the Nigerian presidential elections and its acceptance by the incumbent president, Nigerians generally heaved a sigh of relief that the worst may be over. There had been lots of speculations of possible uncontrollable violence after the elections. Some people remembered a certain prediction that the country would disintegrate by 2015 and felt the election or its result would trigger this. Threats of various shades had come from the cardinal directions of the country, each with a perceived assurance of certainty. Worry levels suddenly shot up and were at an all-time high for the average Nigerian. Those who had previously heard about or experienced the devastating effects of any form of violence would genuinely have had a cause to worry. We are grateful to God for the peace he has given.
We are indeed grateful that God always has our best interest at heart. While we are awake or sleeping, he has genuine thoughts of love and peace towards us. In spite of whatever we see around us or experience, we should rest assured that God always want to give us His best. And so He urges us not to fret or be worried.
We were not made to worry. Worry is alien to our nature. It does more harm and no good to our mental beings. But in all sincerity, we still find ourselves worrying about everything. We worry about our bodies, our safety, our career, our finances, our children, our social status, our relationships or even the number of likes or retweets on our pictures or posts. Someone might ask, ‘Can we ever stop worrying?’ Well, yes, I believe we can, if we believe what God has said in His word.
One of my favourite scriptures is found in Matt 6:27. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? (The Message). Worrying doesn’t improve our circumstances. Worrying does not bring solutions. Please, don’t mistake worrying for thinking out solutions. Creative thinking is healthy for the brain but worrying wears out the brain. It really isn’t a natural thing for us to do but it is what the devil would rather have us do.
This is what I discovered about worrying:
Worrying takes up memory space. Worry is like an unwanted app or program running in the background of our lives. It takes up valuable memory space that could be used to think about other more productive stuff. It slows us down. Imagine spending several hours of your day ‘thinking’ about a situation you have absolutely no control over when you could have spent the same time to pray about it, develop a plan for a new business idea and plan a fun way to spend the later part of the day. Mental time lost is difficult to recover.
Worrying defines wrong thinking patterns. Our actions and reactions are basically a product of our thought lives. We can establish thinking patterns and habits that define how we respond to issues, by what we spend our time thinking about. So when worrying is what we use our minds and brains to do, our thought-triggered reactions would have a tint or maybe a splash of worry on it, leading us to most likely make wrong decisions. This happens subconsciously and is very real. Let the peace of God that is beyond human comprehension rule your mind and govern your actions (Phil. 4:7).
Worrying affects our health. Worrying has a negative effect on our health. It leads to anxiety; it speeds up the aging process; it causes stress and even triggers different physical illnesses. Science says there is a tendency for our bodies to respond to worry the same way it responds to danger. This means certain hormones are released in the body and a sustained release of these hormones would eventually have a negative impact on the body. So even though God created these hormones for the good of the body, a misuse of them would negatively impact our health.
God says He would keep us in perfect peace if our mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Once we commit our cares to Him, trust Him to take care of them. Align your thoughts with His and think His thoughts. Our security, health, prosperity and success are His business and he would cause all things to work together for our good because we love Him.