How many hours can we spend reflecting on our situation, what might happen to us, what we would like to have or realize? Is it really helpful or beneficial to let our thoughts wander? We are not so sure…
In many places in the Bible, God encourages us not to worry. He does not want us to be afraid of lacking food or clothing (Matt 6:25), for He promises to take care of us. He does not want us to be so preoccupied with everyday life, that we forget to sit down at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10: 41-42). Paul also encouraged singles not to worry about their social status, but rather to give their best to the Lord in the state in which they are in (1 Corinthians 7:32).
Worrying is probably one of the greatest defects of our human nature. We trivialize it sometimes, denying being anxious about anything. However, the Greek word used in the New Testament, which is usually translated by “worry”, has a much broader definition than the fear of anything. The word “merimnao” is translated, in other versions, by simply “thinking about”, “being preoccupied”, “being distracted by”.
God does not want us to be “distracted” by our social status (read this other article on this subject). He wants us to remain focused on our calling, on the growth of his Kingdom. Not because He is a selfish God, who thinks only of His own needs, but because He knows that when we work in our calling and serve Him with passion, we are happy and feel truly complete. Of course, marriage completes our desire for companionship and partnership, but it does not fill us emotionally, let alone spiritually. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. That is why God does not want us to be worried about being single.
There is another reason why God does not want us to be worried, or preoccupied, by anything: because it never solves our problems. “You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.” (Matt 6:27 NCV) In short, worrying is a waste of time.
It’s not just singles who worry, quite the contrary! It is a trap that we will always have to fight. Parents, we worry about our children. We may not be anxious about it, but we can spend hours asking ourselves how their “back to school” will be, how can we make them fall in love with the Lord, and all the other scenarios that begin with “what if…”. We may not have children, but we can worry about our ministry, our work, our parents, and even the weather! Let’s admit it most of the scenarios we feed into our mind never came to pass. God wants to spare us this loss of time. “Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5.7 NCV)
We can not prevent thoughts from coming into our minds. But instead of feeding them, say to yourself, let’s talk to God about it. “Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.” (Phil 4: 6 NCV) If you wish to get married it is normal at times to imagine what your big day will be like. But do not stay alone in your thoughts, because they can quickly slip away. Immediately begin a conversation with your Father. “Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them.” (Matt 6: 31-32 NCV)
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matt 6.34 MSG)