Last week we discussed the importance of dealing with worry as an enemy, and that is very important. Today we are going to look at the leading cause of worry, and what I am about to say you may never have considered before, but I want you to carefully consider this as it will, if listened to and appreciated, change your life for the better.
The number one cause of worry is trying to taking responsiblity for and authority over things that God never wanted and does not want us to have responsibility for and authority over.
If you can grasp this then you will be able to deal with worry in your life. 1 Thess. 4.11 in the NLT tells us to “mind your own business and do the thing you are commanded to do”. Do you realize all of paradise was lost because both Adam and Eve didn’t mind their own business and do the thing they were commanded to do. We often are found in disobedience to the commands of God when we are refusing to mind our own business.
One of the biggest reasons people worry is that they do not mind their own business, it worries them about how the country is doing, what the pastor of the church they left is doing, what their adult and now-married children are doing, what the neighbours are doing and so on.
People seem to enjoy poking their nose into other people’s business and telling them how to do their job. That will lead to worry and anxiety. You shouldn’t even treat the people who work for you like that! Respect what God has given other people to do, and I promise you will immediately worry less!
I’ve seen people get involved in correcting other people’s children, other people’s church culture, other people’s anything. Here’s a new thought: mind your own business. You are causing your self needless anxiety.
Recently a pastor in the UK did something a bit foolish and a bit strange, and a couple of other pastors approached me and said “You should talk to him, you are respected, he will listen to you”. I said “I don’t know him that well, we have only ever met in person two times, and I don’t have the right to push something heavy over such a flimsy bridge”. What was I doing – minding my own business. Some of the other pastors are getting worked up like he works for them, and he doesn’t. Me, I don’t worry at all. It’s not my sphere of authority. Now if he asks me for help, that’s different, but I am talking about not poking your nose in where it is not wanted and not asked for. Doing this will save you loads of worry and anxiety that would otherwise be yours.
Or to quote St Francis of Assissi, give me the patience to accept what I cannot change.
The number one cause of worry is this: not accepting what you cannot change. You are not the god of this universe. Your authority is amazing, but it is limited – especially where other people are concerned. Why not today choose to trust God to help other people? He helped you when you were procrastinating, getting it wrong, missing the mark – He can help others.
You will sleep better at night when you are minding your own business and not poking your nose and heart into the affairs of others that you will never be in control of.