Summary: THis sermon deals with how we should not allow worrying to dominate our lives.
`Worry! Champion or Chump?
“I have a mountain of credit card debt”, one man told another. “I have lost my job. My car is being repossessed and our house is in foreclosure, but I am not worried about it”, exclaimed his friend. “No, I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all my worrying for me, and that way I don’t have to think about it.”
“That’s fantastic! How much does your professional worrier charge for his services?”
“$50,000 a year”, he replied.
“$50,000 a year? Where are you going to get that kind of money?”
“I don’t know”, comes the reply. “That’s his worry.”
Worry affects each and every one of us. If I were to ask by a show of hands who worried about something in their life in the past hour, I wouldn’t be surprised if half of us raised our hands. When you don’t worry about something, it isn’t the same as not taking action. We will see today that worry is something that threatens to destroy each and every one of us. Instead of worry reigning as a champion in our lives, my hope today is that worry will be seen as it really is – a chump!
A story is told about a man who came face to face with the dangers of worry:
Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, "What are you going to do?"
"I’m going to take 100 people," Death replied.
"That’s horrible!" the man said.
"That’s the way it is," Death said. "That’s what I do."
The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan.
As evening fell, he met Death again.
"You told me you were going to take 100 people," the man said. "Why did 1,000 die?"
"I kept my word," Death responded. "I only took 100 people. Worry took the others."
This interesting tale portrays so well the fact that half of all the people in America’s hospital beds are constant worriers. 43% of all adults suffer health effects due to worry and stress. 75% - 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are stress-related complaints or disorders. Worry has been linked to all the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis and suicide. An estimated 1 million workers are absent on an average workday because of stress related complaints. Stress is said to be responsible for more than half of the 550 million workdays lost annually because of absenteeism. 43% of all employee turnover is related to job stress. Mental distress can even lead to death. Add to the list the mental fatigue of nights without sleep and days without peace, and we get a glimpse of the havoc worry plays in destroying the quality and quantity of life.
Today lets look at what Jesus says about worry. Turn to Mathew 6:25. This is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking to a large crowd of people on the mountainside. Verse 25 says, “therefore, I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Jesus makes a bold statement in saying do not worry about your life.
Some of us think, “ I know Jesus said it, but that’s impossible”. Does the fact that Jesus said these things mean that we shouldn’t eat or wear any clothes? Of course not! Jesus is saying that we get so caught up and fret about what we gone wear.
The Greek word translated do not worry literally means “to be drawn in different directions.” Worry pulls us apart. Until we as humans interferes, everything in nature works together, because all of nature trusts God. People, however, are pulled apart because we try to live our lives by depending on material wealth. Jesus was saying God has built into His Creation the means by which all things are cared for. The birds are fed because they diligently work to maintain their lives. They do not store up great amounts of food, but continually work.! The lilies grow daily through a natural process. Therefore an individual need not be anxious about his existence
Life is more important than food or drink and the body more important than clothes. Worrying has a big affect in our world and quite possible here today.
There was a survey taken by USA Today citing major sources of worry. 36% said work is the biggest source of stress – 22% money – 10% children – 7% health – 5% marriage – 5% parents – 5% no stress at all – 19% little stress. You could do this survey in a lot of places and get similar results.