Bible, Teaching
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The divided mind of worry


Are you dividing your mind between worry and faith?

Are you dividing your mind between worry and faith?

In the New Testament, the Greek word for worry is an interesting word and understanding its definition provides a clue on how to deal with worry.

The word for worry most often used is “mirimnao” (Matthew 6:25, 28, Luke 10:41). It combines two Greek words ‘merizo’ which means ‘divide’ and ‘nous’ which means ‘mind.’

‘Mirimnao’ literally means ‘divided mind.’ 

Though, it was commonly used to describe anxiety or worry, ‘divided mind’ is exactly how the Apostle Paul intended the word in 1 Corinthians 7:34, when he described the differences between a single man and a married man.

Paul says a single man can focus solely on the Lord and His work, but a married man must also concern himself with caring for his family. Paul says because of a married man’s legitimate responsibilities:

… his interests are divided. (1 Corinthians 7:34a NASV)

The word ‘divided’ is the Greek word ‘mirimnao.’

Though the word in this instance is not used to describe worry, it reveals the intent of the word ‘mirimnao’ — divided mind.

On one hand, we believe and trust God as our provider, but on the other we worry about our finances, our job or our kids. Same mind doing two things that are polar opposites.

This is the point of Proverbs 3:5:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. (NASV)

Notice how it says we need to trust God with “all” our heart. We must deal with the ‘divided mind’ that plagues many of us. In one area of our mind we believe God, but in another we worry.

The key is not leaning on our own understanding. We need to stop analyzing and rethinking the situation according to an earthly standard. We must look at it from God’s perspective.

It is a choice. We must discipline our mind not to worry and instead choose to believe God cares for us.

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NASV)

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