I’m not a San Antonio Spurs fan. Most people who know me, know that…especially Spurs fans. Maybe it’s that poker face of Tim Duncan as he destroyed folk, or that annoyingly polite David Robinson. But I met Coach Greg Popovich when I was pastoring in California, and I think he’s a genius.
Coach Pop attributed the Spurs success to something interesting. “Appropriate fear.” Of course, he acknowledged his draft success and the talent of his players. But he explained that he never allowed his squad to overestimate themselves or underestimate the power of the opponent. They were always prepared.
That’s probably a good place to start as we wrap up this look at worry. Should Christians worry? Well, that’s a yes or no question that’s really looking for context. The words for worry and fear in the Old and New Testaments are used positively or negatively depending on the context. For instance, if it’s Christian concern, worry is good. If it’s respect and awe, fear is good. But if either of those natural emotions are controlling you rather that you controlling them, then there’s a problem.
Last week we looked at 3 things we should avoid if we want to control anxiety, worry, distress and fear. Those things were fake news, fatalistic friends, and false prophets. Let’s wrap things up by looking at 4 simple, positive things we can do to battle this virus called worry.
Philippians 4:6-7, provides a perfect worry remedy: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication. Make your request known to God. And Gods unexplainable peace will keep your hearts and minds through Jesus.”
There it is. Simple but effective. Pray. Dr. Tony Evans suggests that during this crisis when we are washing our hands multiple times a day, instead of singing “Happy Birthday” to time the wash, take that time and pray. Pray and pray a lot.
In uncertain times when there is much that we don’t know, it’s good to review those foundational Bible truths that we do know. Take the time to study the great themes of scripture that will not only bring comfort but provide answers and instruction to weather this crisis.
For instance, in Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us, “don’t worry”, at least 5 times. His primary reason is because we have the security of a perfect and protective “heavenly Father. For those who have been blessed to have good fathers, but especially for those who haven’t, now is the time to study the perfect “ Fatherly” characteristics of God. They will regulate your worry.
There is a direct line between our state of mind and the state of our health. For many people, out of control worry is a symptom of a physical problem or emotional problem. Get professional help where necessary, but the answer might not be going to the doctor but going for a walk…. a regular walk.
Move!! Walk, run, skate, squat, rock, bike, climb…. or just lean! Do some sort of regular exercise, and it will not only help you physically but mentally.
The research is overwhelming. There are few things that will stall or stop your worry like doing something for someone else. It’s documented that helping others will do a number of things, including:
· Counteracting stress
· Combating depression
· Increasing self-confidence
· Providing a sense of purpose
So, find someone to help and the first person who will be helped is you.
So that’s it. How are you handling worry during this season? What would your advice be?