Stop worrying about it. We’ve all heard that advice, but actually stopping those thoughts is another story. Next time you feel worry taking over your life, try these steps:
1. Recognize it
Take some time to actually think about what makes you worry, how you express your worry and how destructive it is for your faith, your health, your relationships.
In prayer, confess your sinful obsession with seeking to live in God’s domain and choose to reject worry from now on. That doesn’t mean you’ll never worry again, but it affirms your desire to stop and your commitment to change.
3. Welcome transformation
Surround and saturate yourself with the truth about God. Who he is and why he is trustworthy. Who you are in relationship to him. Ask God to change the way you think about him, about yourself, about everything.
4. Believe God
God is in control of the world we live in, he will never leave us and the people we love, he is aware of absolutely everything we need and capable of providing it, he knows us better than we know ourselves, he is far more powerful than absolutely everything and everyone who scares us and he has a great plan and a great view of realms and reasons we can’t imagine.
5. Admit your powerlessness
We don’t truly have the power to give or take control from God. The future is already his, and all power belongs to him.
6. Acknowledge the possibilities
Admit that the future is unseen and most of life is outside your control. No matter how strong your sense of control, you will never know what waits around time’s next corner.
7. Accept danger
Acknowledge that life is not perfect, you are not safe, and the worst possible things may happen to you or someone you love. Worry will not prevent these things.
8. Change your expectations
When we expect ease and prosperity, we worry about losing them. When we expect trouble (Jn 16:33) and thank God for blessings, we have fewer reasons to worry.
9. Find yourself
Our sense of self and security must be divorced from what we do, what we have, even who we think we are. When we identify ourselves as God’s beloved children, under his care and part of the family regardless of what we may gain or lose, we have fewer reasons to worry.
10. Give it up
Everything and everyone belongs to God. You don’t truly own anything, and while you’re responsible for the way you treat others, you are not ultimately responsible for anyone else’s choices. Reject guilt based in a false sense of responsibility.
For real and lasting change, you need to “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Rom.12:2). Of course, that transformational process is conducted and guided by God and his Holy Spirit, not by us. But we can choose to welcome and cooperate with that work, or we can choose to fear, resent and resist it.