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Slaying the worry monster

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Does worry over-exagerates the seriousness of the problem?

Does worry over exaggerate the seriousness of the problem?

So how much do you worry?

There are so many things to worry about — finances, kids, jobs — and because of that it is difficult to tell how much a persons worries in a day.

But one of the big worries for all of us is finances. In 2010, Freescore.com conducted a survey to discover how much Americans worry about finances and in particular their debt. They discovered that of the 1,000 Americans (aged 18 and over) who were surveyed, 57% considered themselves in debt.

On average, these indebted Americans spent 198 minutes a day worrying about debt. That works out to 99 hours a month.

In contrast, the survey also showed these same people spent only 5 minutes a day (2.6 hours a month) doing some financial planning (excluding bill payments) to deal with their debt. That is a worry to work ratio of 38:1. For every hour the average American spent doing something about their debt, they worried 38 hours.

Here is the survey’s breakdown of how much time indebted Americans spent worrying about their debt:

  •  9% — over 10 hours a day (nearly 1 in 10)
  • 13% — 4-10 hours per day
  • 63% —  1-3 hours a day
  • 15% — 0 hours per day
  • Average 3.3 hours a day or 198 minutes (14% of a full day)

It is obvious for some, their debt worry has completely overwhelmed them. How did that happen?

Worry over exaggerates the problem

According to the Psalmist, worry may be the bigger issue than the problem that caused it.

In Psalms 94:19 we read:

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul. (NASV)

Notice it says our thoughts multiply, not the situation. The problem stays the same, but our “anxious thoughts” causes it to grow. Over time worry will eventually over-exaggerate the seriousness of your problem.

We are not talking about a few thoughts being added here and there. The word multiply implies exponential growth.

This is why people spend hours worrying about their debt — what initially started out as a minor problem has overtime grown into a monster.

If you have worried about an issue for a long time, there is a chance you have blown it completely out of proportion and it is nowhere near as bad as you think.

You need to start reigning in your “anxious thoughts.” To do this, you need to take “consolation” in the Lord. We need to believe Jesus when He says:

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Mathew 6:31-22 NLT)

Worry and faith are a choice. We must choose to believe God.

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