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.