Worry – the 8%

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Worry – Finding That Eight Percent!

From Expository Files 16.10

By Warren E. Berkley

One of the books I read a few summers ago was THE NOTICER by Andy Andrews. Partly fictional, it is one of those fun, heart-warming books to be enjoyed as a diversion from the more technical in-depth reading that is essential.

The main character of the book, Jones, discusses the futility of worry, suggesting some interesting percentages that may not be scientific, but should provoke some thought.

  • 40% of the things we worry about will never occur.

  • 30% of the time, we worry about things that have already happened.

  • 12% of our worry is about needless imaginings about our health.

  • 10% would be petty-little-nothing worries about what people think.

  • 8%, “legitimate concerns.”

The legitimate concerns, according to the Jones character, “are things that can actually be dealt with.” Then he said, “Most people spend so much time fearing things that are never going to happen or can’t be controlled that they have no energy to deal with the few things they can actually handle.”

If this analysis is true or nearly true, in either case there is help. The more you bring your mind into subjection to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), the greater your sincerity in prayer (Jas. 1:5; 5:16), and the stronger your determination to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:18), the closer you will be to finding that 8% of things you can do something about.

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