What Me Worry?

Remember the character Alfred E. Newman and his famous line, “What me worry?” Do you?

Has it ever occurred to you that worrying is the only sin about which we brag? Tag lines are: “I worried so much I couldn’t sleep,” and “I worried so much I couldn’t eat.”

Studies show the folly of worry. Some years ago a professor at a leading American university studied the things people worry about. His research showed: 

40% of things people worry about never happen

30% concerns the past

l7% are needless worries about health

l0% are about petty issues

8% are legitimate concerns

That means that 92% of our worry time is wasted energy. Scripture notes that we are not to ever worry about the 8%. Why is that? Because when we worry we’re really saying that God can’t take care of us, that our problems are bigger than His promises. R.H. Mounce once said, “Worry is practical atheism and an affront to God.” Rick Warren writes, “Worry is the warning light that God is not really first in my life at this particular moment because worry says that God is not big enough to handle my troubles.”

Worry is projecting negative thoughts on future events. It is pulling tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine.

Years ago the late Georgia Senator Talmage told me, “Never climb a tree until you get to it.” It was his sage way of saying wait and deal with issues when it is time to deal with them.

There are two things about which a person should never worry, only two.

Never worry about something that needs changing, and you can’t change. Worry will not change it, so it is a waste of time to worry.

Second, never worry about anything that needs changing that you can change. Do it. Don’t waste time worrying about it and delay the accomplishment along with a sense of fulfillment.  

Some things need changing. Group them into one of these four categories: 

Things you can’t change.

Things someone else can change.

Things no one can change.

Things only God can change.

There is an antidote for worry called faith. Even it doesn’t work unless its object is worthy. Jesus said, “My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives….”

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Comply with that standard and then you will be able to say, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”  (Psalm 94:19)