Contrary to what some might believe to be true, worrying is irresponsible. One may confuse it with regards for the welfare of others in some situations; but, in a moment this will show that it is different. Likewise, when you worry over something entrusted to you, you are not exercising good stewardship. It is not the same thing as mindfulness. Worry is a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems (real or imagined). It’s a form of fear. To worry, then, is to give way to anxiety or to be anxious. It means to panic in some cases. In its Old English and West German origin, it is a verb that gave rise to the meaning ‘seize by the throat and tear,’ and later ‘harass.’ In one sense, it counterfeits consideration for another, because a portion of it falls in the camp of self-preservation. That includes the fear of losing someone or something.
For instance, when someone is entrusted with a position, such as a manager, stewardship would be exercising mindfulness in respect to benefitting the employer, employees and customers -the overall business. Worry is concerned with losing face as the result of poor performance and/or being fired. Of course, this can be attached to pride, where the concern is more about looking good than doing good. On a side note, if a person wraps his or her identity in the position, he or she may have an identity crises. Biblical stewardship can be summed up in one verse: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23).
On the surface, it may appear that worry is a sign someone “truly cares” for another; but, how beneficial is it really? Let’s think this through a bit. Why do you suppose some don’t like to share with others that they’re going through a difficult time? They don’ want others to worry about them. In other words, it stresses them out when they stress over them. Oh sure, there may be a part of them appreciates the concern or may even crave the attention. We’re designed to receive love, so there is an attachment to the desire for it. Do you like seeing loved ones stressed out? Part of loving others well includes caring for them for their sake alone. It is an outward focused mentality which doesn’t require a return. Empathy is wonderful; worry is not! When you come to someone’s aid minus the worry, you help create an environment in which he or she can more easily move the needle in the right direction.
Question: is worry a Kingdom principle? When it comes to being responsible or exercising good stewardship, it would behoove us to do it God’s way. One thing you can read throughout the Bible is one simple phrase: “Fear not, for I am with you!” Another one that can be found in conjunction with it is, “Be strong and courageous.” What part of fear not do we not understand? In Mark five and Luke eight, we read about Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, who asked to Jesus to lay hands on his daughter because she was at the point of death. Shortly after, someone from his household reported to him that his daughter was dead and he need not bother Jesus any longer. That report was the worst thing a parent could ever hear; and yet, what did Jesus immediately say? “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36). On numerous occasions, when Israel was facing war or impending doom, God would tell them to fear not. Obviously, worry has no place in the Kingdom of God.
How does worry solve a problem? It doesn’t. In fact, it impedes problem solving. It cripples our thought processes; whereas, peace allows them to freely flow. To illustrate the point, let’s use water. We’ve all heard the phrase, “frozen with fear.” If water freezes, does it freely flow? Of course, not. With peace comes warmth, and warm water flows freely. When thoughts are free-flowing, creativity is active. In short, you are more apt to find solutions in a state of peace than through worry. Not only that, from this position, it is easier to hear from God when we ask Him for wisdom.
Obedience is a Kingdom principle. By definition, to obey means to believe with the intent to conform to the desire of a superior. Believe is the verb form of faith, and faith trusts God! Is worry a component of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23)? Not by a long shot; but, peace is. When a person worries, is he or she submitting to Holy Spirit? Think about it. Consider this: if Holy Spirit lives in you, so does His peace. Ironically, some believers keep searching for peace; and yet, it already resides in them and is always available! Furthermore, Scripture says, “Let the peace of God rule in your heart” (Colossians 3:15). This is a permissive statement. In essence, you have to grant yourself permission to be at peace. Moreover, by submitting to Holy Spirit, that permission is granted. Just as in the same way Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Through submission, we quench the desire to worry. The responsible thing to do is trust God and walk by faith!