Luke 10:41 - “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things.”
Do you ever feel like you’re being put down when others accuse you of being worried all of the time when in fact, you’re just being cautious?
This can include trying new prescriptions for mental health issues. We may have had bad reactions in the past and are cautious about trying new medications. This is a valid concern and not just being worried about trying them.
Let’s take a look at the difference between being cautious and worried from Merriam-webster.com:
Cautious – Careful about avoiding danger or risk.
Worried – Mentally troubled or concerned; feeling or showing concern or anxiety about what is happening or might happen.
As you can see, being cautious is not the same as being worried. When deciding if you should follow a course of action, it’s important to weigh all of the pros and cons to see if there is any danger by following it. A certain amount of danger or risk happens if we take a step into new territory. But it doesn’t necessarily mean we are showing excess worry.
In fact, there are more risks worrying yourself sick over what may never happen even if you feel they will. Doors that were open can be shut to you, because you didn’t act when the time was right, but waited and then it was too late. The door slammed shut.
On the other hand, if you are cautious, you may find that it’s not in your best interest to walk through an open door. However, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get upset about it. We aren’t always supposed to walk through an open door.
So how do we know if we’re being cautious and are examining our options, or are worried about something going wrong when it may never happen? Here’s some tips on making life decisions on psychologytoday.com in their article, “How to Mindfully Make Important Life Decisions.” Their tips include slowing down, unless it is an emergency, and reflect on your priorities, your goals and your values; and, accept that making important decisions can be hard because they have lasting consequences.
When you’re tempted to go into worry overload because you don’t know if you should move in a certain direction, remember that even Jesus pointed out to a woman in the Bible named Martha, who was worrying about all of the little details of preparing a meal, instead of doing what her sister Mary was doing and listen to what Jesus had to say. We can be like Martha if we’re not careful. Look at the facts in front of you and take them to God before making a decision. He can help us realize that if he’s placed a decision in front of you, he is capable of helping you weigh the risks and use caution instead of just worrying and not taking action.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.