February 18

Text: Matthew 6:27

"And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?” (NASB)

Worry is an interesting human emotion.  Few of us would say it is productive, yet we worry.  Even the few who regard worry to be useful in some circumstances would acknowledge there are better ways to achieve results.  The majority of us consider worry to be paralyzing and destructive.  Few consider worry to be a positive emotion—its foundation is typically constructed from fear and panic.

In many circumstances it is worse than unproductive.  Because of worry, people commonly do less, not more.  It is a horrible motivation because it is a short-term motivation that often leads to paralysis.  Resignation to the worst outcome frequently produces an “I do not care” attitude.  The perceived hopelessness of the circumstances results in a resistance to productive action.

Worry’s track record is terrible!  No one associates worry with success.  No one sells the value of a task by declaring, “This work will provide you with lots of reason for and opportunity to worry.”  The opportunity to worry is not the basis of successful advertisement campaigns.  Why?  People consider worry a negative emotion, not a positive emotion.  Worry is to be escaped, not promoted.

In the arena in which worry typically functions, long-term productive efforts are the “bottom line.”  The truth is this: Worry is rarely productive; therefore, worry is a bad investment.  Worry is more likely to consume energy and productivity than it is to produce energy and productivity.

Jesus asked, “When did you improve a matter of concern by investing your life in worry? When has worry helped you?”  Implication: Time and energy spent in worry is lost time and energy.

Suggestion for reflection: Evaluate your time spent in worry versus your personal productivity. 
(Read Philippians 4:4-7.)                                                                                    

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell