Summary: A look at the ineffectiveness of worry - we do it despite the fact that it brings about no positive result.
A COMMON WORRY EXCUSE: Many people worry because “at least I’m doing something.”
- Some people feel guilty if they’re not worrying. Somehow worry is a sign to them of being a good parent or friend.
- They would probably begrudgingly admit that’s it’s not the greatest thing, but they would defend themselves by saying, “At least I’m doing something.”
- It’s important, though, that we stop and ask whether that “doing something” is really something worth doing. Are we doing anything worthwhile and productive?
- How effective is worry?
HOW EFFECTIVE IS WORRY? Wringing your hands = spinning our wheels.
- One of the ideas that Jesus brings out in this larger passage about money worries is that worry is ineffective.
- We wring our hands in worry, but when we do that we’re just spinning our wheels. We’re not accomplishing anything.
- Verse 25 brings out that worry doesn’t fix anything.
- Verse 26 pushes it a step further: if worry can’t accomplish a little thing, how do you expect it to solve your big problem?
- [Put in outline] A phrase to use when you’re worrying about money: “Well, it’s time to drive a nail with a sponge.”
- What do I mean by that? Let me explain.
- Here I have a board, two nails, a hammer, and a sponge. I want to drive the nails into the board. I can use the hammer and it’s effective in putting the nail into the board. But if I take the sponge and try to drive a nail with it, I’m still making a motion, but I’m not achieving any results.
- Trying to drive a nail with a sponge is a waste of time because it’s ineffective.
- Trying to solve your problems by worrying is like trying to drive a nail with a sponge. It’s a waste of time because it’s ineffective.
- It’s a ridiculous image, but that’s kind of the point. How stupid would you look trying to drive a nail with a sponge? About as ridiculous as you look trying to solve your money problems by worrying.
- “But I can’t help myself! Worry comes naturally!”
a. Just because worry comes naturally doesn’t mean it’s effective.
- Not everything that comes naturally to us is in our best interests. There’s a part of me that wants to hang around the house goofing off all day instead of working, but I need to do something productive with my life as well as providing for my family.
b. Just because worry comes naturally doesn’t mean it’s not sinful.
- Many things that come naturally to us are sinful. An obvious example would be the sexual temptations people face. Does it come naturally that you want to have sex with that person you’re dating. Yes, but that doesn’t make it any less sinful.
- There is a lie in our society that argues that because we are intrinsically good creatures that you should follow the desires of your heart and that will lead you to your destiny. The problem is that we aren’t intrinsically good creatures and often the desires of our heart point us in bad directions.
- The fact that worry comes easily to you is not a sign that it’s good.
- You have to confront the pointlessness of worry.
- We have to squarely face the fact that we’re doing something that has not practical consequence other than making us miserable.
- Worry makes you feel better by feeling worse (which is kind of emotionally sick when you think about it). But not only is it that negative, but we’re enduring that negative and getting no positive result from it.
- The fact that we feel good about feeling bad is worth thinking about for a while. It’s not a sign of a well-thought-out plan.
- Worry is not inevitable. There are other choices that we can make.
- What are those other choices? Well, let’s look at two of the main things we should be doing.
WHAT SHOULD I DO THEN?
1. IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT THINGS WITHIN YOUR CONTROL, THEN FOCUS ON OBEYING JESUS' TEACHING ON MONEY.
- [Put in outline] Resource: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- Sometimes the money problems that we face have to do with our own choices. We’ve made mistakes in how we’re handling our finances.
- We’ve bought more house than we can afford. We took out massive loans to pay for college because we thought we’d be making a lot of money. We love shopping and don’t think much about the consequences to our financial picture.
- In situations like this, worry isn’t going to fix things. Changed behavior is going to fix things.