WORRY MULTIPLIERS

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging words cheers a person up.” – Proverbs 13:23 NLT

I have some friends who are world-class worriers. Some are perfectionists who believe that they must get everything right all the time or else a bolt of lightning will come from heaven to strike them down dead. (I was just kidding about the lightning. I don’t really want to add one more thing for them to worry about.) Others are basically shy, behind the scenes people and they are afraid a miscue will draw unwanted attention. Others are living out old tapes. You know, the ones where your mother said, “Be sure and wear clean underwear. You never know when you’ll be in an accident.”

Worry is a serious problem because worry often sucks the joy out of everything.

As if people’s natural tendency to worry was not bad enough, worriers often have to worry about the inspectors. You know who I mean. The people who were drill sergeants in another life. Or are frustrated science fair judges. Or who believe sidewalk inspection is a spiritual gift. Often when worriers have worked hard enough that they can allow themselves to stop worrying, the inspectors arrive and give them another reason to worry.

Inspectors are worry multipliers. They bring their set of expectations (and worries) to the table with little regard to the effort being made, the goals and guidelines the person doing it were operating from, and whether or not it is even any of their business.

Inspectors are not encouragers. The word encourage literally means “to give courage.” Inspectors steal the joy of something because they make the task even more difficult. If a person is doing something because God has called them to do it, the inspectors are an irritant but the person keeps on doing it because he is trying to please God. And if the person is doing something merely out obligation, then soon they burn out because the joy has gone out.

So here’s my thought for the day – worriers, stop worrying. And inspectors – GET A LIFE!

(C) 2010 Stephen L. Dunn

This posting has been cross-posted from an on-line devotional blog I publish called THRIVING IN CHRIST.

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