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Summary: Philippians 4:6

Don’t Worry About Anything?

June 3, 2001

Remember the song by Bobby McFarren, “Don’t worry, be happy”? Impossible not to have… played all the time!

- nice idea… but can be pretty annoying… esp when your facing difficult times.

- In Phil 4:6 Paul expresses part of this saying, “Be anxious for nothing” or, as the Living Bible translates it, “Don’t worry about anything.”

- Fact is, worry seems to be a perfectly natural response to the challenges of life.

- We live in a high stress culture

o Stress from lack of job security… few people believe they’ll be in the same job 5 years from now.

o Financial stress… as soon as you are on top of your finances, the car breaks down. Stress of watching your portfolio drop lower and lower.

o Fast paced... doesn’t slow down for you. GETTING together: 3 weeks!

o Survey say that families hardly eat together. HABIB: eat while walking?

o Work, relationships, kids, health

Fact is, the Mayo Clinic claims 80-85% of total caseload due directly to worry and anxiety.

- Many experts say that coping with stress is the #1 health priority of our day.

o One leading physician has stated that, in his opinion, 70% of all medical patients could cure themselves if only they got rid of their worries and fears.

- We know that medical science has closely tied worry to heart trouble, blood pressure problems, ulcers, thyroid malfunction, migraine headaches, a host of stomach disorders, amongst others. For example…

o 25 mill Americans have high blood pressure due to stress/anxiety; 1 million more develop high blood pressure each year. 8 million have stomach ulcers

o every week 112 million people take medication for stress related symptoms.

In this kind of place, how can we NOT worry?

- If worry is the natural response to the realities of life, then who is Paul to tell us not to worry about anything?

- It is fair to ask, “How credible is Paul on the issue of worry?” He never lived in 2001

- I think we’ve looked at Paul enough to be able to easily answer this.

- He wrote these words while, according to chapter 2, was about to be “poured out as a drink offering… waiting for His trial before Nero.

- 2 Cor 11 catalogs his sufferings… how he was beaten, stoned, in constant danger, faced financial stresses which caused him to grow hungry at times; relational stresses watching all his so-called friends turn on him.

- PAUL HAD CREDIBILITY to speak about worry.

- But we need to understand what Paul meant when using the word, WORRY.

- a Greek word, MERIMNAO. Comes from “merizo”, “to divide”, and “nous”, which means, “mind”. The word “worry” means to have a “divided mind”.

- A mind divided by between the worries of the world, and the peace of God; between worldly attitudes and Biblical truth.

- Another thing we need to understand is that we need to draw a clear line b/t Deconstructive Worry and Constructive Concern.

o Paul never tells us, when facing a crisis… test at school, the possibility of loosing a job, difficultly with one of your children… that we aren’t to be concerned about it.

o But he does say, “Don’t Worry about it.”

Deconstructive Worry

- DW, unlike Constructive Concern, depletes our resources. It drains you of energy.

- Always has a circular reasoning process to it… your worry takes you round and round on a down spiral, which always brings you back to the same point.

- Example:

o I have to pass my test tomorrow

o If I don’t pass my test tomorrow I’ll be put on academic probation

o If on academic probation, I could get thrown out of school

o If I get thrown out of school, I’ll never find a good job

o If I don’t find a good job, I’ll never be able to buy a house

o If I can’t buy a house, how can I ever get married?

o I have to pass my test tomorrow… and so on.

- After all our worry, we never come 1 inch closer toward a solution, which could help you pass the test!

- Constructive Concern seeks a solution… I have a test tomorrow… I better stay in and study… and I better ask God for help! It moves you from a problem to a solution.

Even 2000 years ago, Paul understood worry to be the #1 thief of joy in our lives

- Have you ever been robbed? I have! John calls Satan a thief and worry is a powerful weapon that easily neutralizes our joy, peace, and intimacy with the Father… as well as our effectiveness in the Kingdom.

- How do we break free from Deconstructive Worry?

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