Anxious for Nothing

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV)

Paul wasn’t one to pull punches, but for him to say that we should be anxious for nothing is a pretty strong statement.

I don’t know about you, but when I read that scripture, I’m thinking, What about my responsibilities? What about the troubled times we live in? Shouldn’t I be concerned about some things?

Certainly Paul isn’t commanding us not to care about important things. But when we approach things the wrong way, we end up turning a genuine concern into a needless anxiety.

Let me give you a way to put your worries in perspective.

Verse 6 says to be anxious for “nothing.” If you break that word apart to say “no thing,” it can serve as a great reminder of what not to be worried about. Because if it’s a thing, there’s no need to worry — it’s just a thing. Be anxious for no thing.

Be concerned about the state of your soul and the souls of others. Be concerned about God’s work in the world. Those are genuine concerns. But when it comes to things, you have to learn to look at them and say (like we used to say in the ’90s), “It’s nothing but a thing.”

A financial need? A conflict in a relationship? A tactical decision to make in your career? By all means, pray about these things. And meanwhile, do your best to handle them in a wise way. But don’t give them more attention than they deserve. There’s no reason God’s peace can’t flood your heart even while you’re dealing with innumerable things.

Take control of what you can today and trust God with what you can’t.

 

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