Putting Worry Aside- 5 practical ideas
God continually calls us to come to Him with our burdens and find rest for our souls. - Matthew 11:28 & 29
Until this point, I’ve mostly been writing about the philosophy behind trusting God, the big picture stuff. Now I want to narrow in on some practical everyday ideas to apply toward trusting God and putting worry aside.
And now, just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him too with each day’s problems – live in vital union with Him. -Colossians 2:6
I’m someone who worries too much. It’s not something I’m proud of. But some years ago, I realized that not only was my habit of worrying constantly taking away from the quality of my life but it was also sinful, demonstrating a lack of trust in my sovereign God who is in control. So I brought that bad habit to God in prayer, asked for forgiveness, and then asked for the strength and ability to overcome this problem. By the grace of God, he is answering this prayer. This is an area where I’m still growing, but where I’ve seen improvement, as my husband and kids will attest to.
Here’s five practical ways I’ve learned to put worry aside,
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. -Matthew 6:31-33
- One way I apply Matthew 6:31-33 to my life is to make sure that some the first minutes of my day are devoted to reading scripture and praying. Maybe it will be different for you, if mornings are not your best time. But the main idea is seeking God first. For me, first thing in the morning works best because I know my propensity to get distracted and busy, forgetting about it if I don’t put it first. But then, throughout the day, I pray constantly, whenever it occurs to me- some people call these bullet prayers.
- Morning Pages are something else I do as often as I can, before the day gets going. The idea of Morning Pages comes from Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. They are simply three pages of stream of consciousness writing. I don’t try to make sense with my writing in these. They’re messy, disorganized, incomplete sentences, full of spelling and grammatical errors- for my eyes-only. But through the Morning Pages, I’m able to take my messy, all over the place thoughts and get them out. Just by doing that, I feel more organized. This practice is a sort of “priming the pump” for creative thinking. Often times, this is where solutions to problems I’ve been thinking on come to me.
3. Think on what is true and real- right now. This is an idea that comes first from scripture, but is beautifully expounded upon by Elizabeth George, in her book called Loving God with All Your Mind. The past is no longer real, and neither is the future. Only the present is true and real, and that is where we need to focus our thoughts and energy. Remember Matthew 6:34,
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
4. This is not to say that we shouldn’t prepare for what’s to come. We should. Elizabeth George writes about preparing for the next day so that we are more ready to give to others. In the morning, plan ahead for your day, and pray about it. She says,
“..we are to make a plan for the day, pray over that plan, and then proceed to follow that plan. But we must be wiling to accept the unexpected as God’s intervention, to recognize it as His plan…and then flex and flow with it!”
5. Proceed and trust God to provide. Trusting God is not passive. We are to live each day to it’s fullest, one day at a time.
I hope that these ideas are helpful to you. There’s so much more that I want to write on this topic, but this post is getting long, so I’ll save it for next time. What are some ideas that you have applied to your own life to help you to overcome worry? I’d love to hear what you have to say.