…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own– Mattthew 6:34 (NIV)

Worry is a constant companion. Threats to health, safety, career, and relationships are just a few of the things that can toss and turn us at night.

“Most of the things we worry about never happen” is a well-worn aphorism intended to discourage worrying. One problem though is that the logic just doesn’t follow. If most of the things people worry about never happen, then worrying must be pretty effective. If that sounds totally unbiblical, then part of the problem may be an overly narrow view of worry.

Most people think scripture always puts worry in a negative light. That’s not exactly true. Constant worry truly can be, as someone has said, “a prayer to the wrong god”– but there is a good kind of worry.

In Greek, the word often used for “worry” is “merimnao” {mer-im-nah’-o}. “Merimnao” shows up in some surprising places.

1Cor 12:25 “members should have the same care [worry] one for another.”

Phil 2:20 “For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care [worry] for your state.”

So there are two kinds of worry– a good kind and a bad kind.

The bad kind arises out of an alienation from God– from a heart that doesn’t trust his sovereignty. Although bad, this kind of worry is not irrational. When God is not on our side, worry is entirely reasonable.

The good kind, on the other hand, arises out of a concern that God’s purposes be realized in the lives of those around us. It’s called caring.

This good kind of worrying is particularly true of parents who want God’s will worked out in lives of their “children,” for God has ordained them to do that very form of worry.

The same should be true of church leaders. Paul had no better man than Timothy who would naturally worry [care] for the Philippians’ spiritual well-being.

So Christians are called to worry (care) about some things and not to worry (care) about others. The challenge is to know the difference. Otherwise, the bad kind will eventually crowd out the good.

The good kind of worry is ordained. The bad kind is to be disdained. God has thus clarified the boundaries between faith and faithlessness by “ordaining” the good kind of “worry” while “disdaining” the bad.

— historeo.com

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