Worry or Constructive Concern?

Dr. Lucy Ann MollFor Those Giving Help, For Those Seeking HopeLeave a Comment


Worry or constructive concern — what is the difference? How do you change worry into helpful, constructive concern? Counselor Lucy Ann Moll shares the 2 main differences as well as basics of worry-free living. This article appeared here first on at Lucy’s website.

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Constructive concern is a positive, action-oriented attitude. It motivates you. It honors God. It keeps you moving forward.

When my kids were little, I could have worried that they might drown in the community swimming pool. Instead I chose constructive concern: I signed them up for swimming lessons. They kept taking swimming lessons until I knew they could swim well–not perfect, just well.

You never know when a silly friend or a mean kid might push them in deep water, do you?

Can you think of an action you took because you had constructive concern? Perhaps you learned a new work skill or reduced your saturated fat intake or taught your grandchild how to cross the street safely.

In this short article you’ll see:

  • two main differences between constructive concern and worry
  • basics on living worry-free 

2 Differences Between Concern and Worry

ONE: Worry destroys your physical body. Constructive concern motivates you to take care of yourself.

Ulcers, headaches, compromised immunity, gastro-intestinal disorders, sleeplessness — all of these can worsen with chronic worry. Web MD adds:

Chronic worrying can affect your daily life so much that it may interfere with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance.

Constructive concern has an opposite effect. If the doctor tells you your blood pressure is high, you eagerly improve your diet. If your kid’s teacher says your son struggles in math, you help him work through math problems after school or you hire a tutor.

You take initiative. You are creative. You hope for the best.

TWO: Worry steals your joy as you doubt that God has provided to you everything you need when you need it.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26, ESV)

Worry takes your eyes off the all-suffient power of God. It causes you to fear the worst and paralyzes you. It draws you into the muck of unbelief.

Constructive concern is peace-filled. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

It honors Christ. It results in calm.

Basics on Worry-Free Living

Most wonderful: you can choose to stop worrying. You can choose constructive concern.

Yes, worry is a sin. Those who are in Christ, which are all believers, have had all their sins forgiven including the worry sin (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14, 1 John 2:12). They also have everything they need to lead a godly (and worry-free) life (2 Peter 1:3).

Here are four ways to replace worry with the peace of God:

  1. Pray to the Lord and confess your sin of worry. Tell him you want to lead a Christ-centered life rather than a self-centered life. Ask him for help.
  2. Read Scripture. Start with these verses: Isaiah 41:10, Romans 8:28-30, Philippians 1:6 and memorize one of them this week and think about it throughtout the day.
  3. A healthy lifestyle sets you up for better choices. When you get enough sleep, you’re less likely to get flustered over small problems. When you get good nutrition, you’re more likely to feel energized. When you exercise your mood improves.
  4. Thank God throughout the day. As you develop the habit of thankfulness, you attitude improves. You look forward to the day. You are more creative and joyful. Problems become opportunites. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?

Next Steps

Do you need help with what you’re facing today? Perhaps your husband up and left you. Maybe a loved one is sick. Or you’ve become depressed or anxious. Could you be wondering if you are enough?

If you or a friend would like biblical counseling, may I encourage you to contact a counselor at Biblical Counselor Center, where I’m on staff? We’d love to pray for you and help you.

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