How to Stop Worry at the Gate
“If we don’t get a grip on worry, it can completely debilitate us from the inside out. Here’s how to knock WORRY for a loop this year and kick STRESS out with it.” – Barbara
FROM EXPERIENCE I’ve learned that worry can completely debilitate you from the inside out. It’s like a cancer, the way it eats at you. “Worry gives a small thing a big shadow,” according to an old Swedish proverb.
My mother always used to say, “Don’t worry about crossing the river until you get to the bridge,” but I became one of the world’s great worriers in spite of her good advice. For most of my life, I worried not only about things that might happen, but things that might not happen. Then, in 1994, I learned the secret of how to stop Worry at the gate before it could go to work on me. I’ll share that secret in a little bit.
No, I didn’t suddenly get rich overnight and I still had the same problems I’d always had, but I quickly began to sleep better, was more relaxed, happy, and satisfied with life than ever before. Want to know my secret? You’ll find it in a great book called the Bible.
Why Read the Greatest Self-Help Book of All?
AFTER GOD BLESSED ME in a special way in late 1994, I vowed to finally read the Bible from cover to cover. Although I had read it sporadically as a child and young adult, I had let more than thirty years of my life slip by without tapping the power in this book, and I paid the price in years of needless worry and sleepless nights. I can only wonder how many others have let their Bibles grow dusty on the shelf.
“If you’re interested in the transformation of yourself—body, soul, and spirit—then the Word of God is the best resource I know, says pastor Allen Jackson. “Invest time in it, and you will begin to see God’s purposes fulfilled in you and through you.”
I’ve now read the Bible cover to cover several times, and what I’ve learned from “the Good Book” is too good to keep under wraps. (For those of you who may be sensitive about the topic of God, let me emphasize that I’m not talking religion here—I’m talking common sense.)
“We have deprived ourselves of the best there is in the world if we deprive ourselves of a knowledge of the Bible,” said Woodrow Wilson.
In his syndicated column, “The Writer’s Art,” James J. Kilpatrick urged his readers to read the Bible, saying it was a tremendous work of literature. “Without some minimal knowledge of biblical allusion, a serious writer languishes in a cultural void,” he said.
Personally, I identify with Mark Twain, who said, “Most people are bothered by the passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”
AS A NEW STUDENT of the Bible, I was surprised to learn that the Holy Bible is a collection of 66 books written by 40 or more different men over a period of 2,000 years. “Yet it is clearly one book with perfect unity and consistency throughout,” say the authors of The Bible Has the Answer:
“Anyone who diligently studies the Bible will continually find remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout its fabric, with an intricacy and symmetry incapable of explanation by chance or collusion.”
I’ve always believed that we could achieve greater success in life through reading and self-study, but it I was nearly 58 years old before I learned that the Bible is the greatest and most influential self-help book ever published. I’ll never again let my Bible grow dusty from lack of use because it is teaching me how to live life to its fullest—joyfully, peacefully, thankfully, and without anxiety or worry. How sweet it is!
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV),
The Bible’s Power in the World of Business
THE BIBLE’S POWER is not limited to our personal lives. See Joshua 1.8 and Psalms 1 for insight on the connection between success, prosperity in business, and a study of the Bible.
“The Bible says that men and women who follow the principles of the word of God have every reason to expect God to bless them and to be successful in the endeavors of their life,” says Pastor David Jeremiah, who cites a survey that confirms the Bible’s power in the world of business. “In a group of 1,361 vice presidents of major corporations surveyed by a New York executive search firm and the UCLA School of Management, 89 percent were found to be active in their faith.”
Adds motivational speaker and author Zig Zigler:
“The church is interwoven in every facet of our life. In the corporate world those who have faith do better than those who do not. A survey by Fortune magazine revealed that 91 percent of the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies claim a church affiliation indicating that, to a degree, their accomplishments were the result of the values they learned either in church or from the Bible.”
It’s hard to argue with this kind of evidence, and I hope you won’t even try. Just open your Bible and ask God to show you how to apply its teachings to your personal and home-business life. And to knock Worry for a loop this year and kick Stress out with it, follow my lead by imprinting these Bible verses on your forehead:
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV).
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today ”(Matthew 6:34 NIV).
What this verse is really saying to us is this: Each day, God gives us exactly what we need to get through today’s problems, so if we worry today about what’s going to happen tomorrow, we will wake up tomorrow already depleted of energy. So we must concentrate on taking each day at a time—living each day at a time—and letting tomorrow take care of itself.
May God bless your life and work this year and always.
POSTSCRIPT: Encouraging Christian insight and evidence of how God has always worked in Barbara’s life—even before she began to read her Bible and learned how to stop worrying—will be found in the pages of her memoir of her life with Harry Brabec, The Drummer Drives! Everybody Else Rides.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved.
Count Your Divine Connections—How your life impacts those around you.
Found! A New Source of Strength. What Barbara learned about self-sufficiency, with reader responses to this inspirational message—maybe the most important one you’ll read today.
Christian Encouragement T/C