Neuroscientists have discovered an interesting phenomenon about the human brain; it is like an on and off switch ("Words can change your brain” Andrew Newberg M.D., Mark Robert Waldman Page 18), it cannot focus on both a positive and negative feeling at the same time. This was huge discovery, as a result they also discovered that the brain will always pick the negative before the positive as an unconscious survival mechanism. Our brains are alway trying to help us avoid pain, as a result it will focus on the problem rather than on the solution as a way to change it and protect against the pain of the problem. However, it truly works in reverse.
We all know the famous verse in Proverbs 23:7, “For as a man thinketh within so he is." This quite simply means the more I worry about things, people and situations the more anxious I become, and the more my mind finds issues to worry about. Instead of focusing on the “What is”, it now begins to focus on the “What if”.
What does this mean? Let's first go to the book of Matthew.
Matthew 6:25-34, in relation to worry and anxiety:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The “What is” in this passage is all that God does and will do, the “What if” becomes the striving and worrying about tomorrow.
Here is that same passage from the MSG Bible:
Matthew 6:25-34 (MSG)
25-26 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 “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.
Let us focus on what is...because we desire the peace that passes all understanding and not the worry that keeps us from what God has for us and has taken care of on the cross.
Blessings! And hear the full show "I Am With You Always" on our Radio Page.