The Worry Commandment: The Peanut Attitude
The Worry Commandment: The Peanut Attitude
January 8, 2019 by Tom Deighan
I did not like my wife’s chihuahua, at first, and everyone knew it. When he arrived as a puppy, he literally looked like a mangy rat – exposed, dark gray skin covered in wispy hair and a long, naked tail. Worst of all he was hot to the touch, like he had a fever! I hated him, but he worshipped me. And he loved my stuff, too, dutifully “marking” anything I left within reach. I constantly shooed him away and even gave him a rude nickname. None of that worked. He was always so excited to see me that, over time, he began to win me over.
Peanut lives the most carefree and joyful existence possible, and that’s probably why I did not like him. No self-doubt, no introspection, no worry, and no anxiety. His entire life is consumed with managing our squirrels, keeping Bill the mailman in line, and playing the Alpha male to his “wolf pack” of toys. And he prances around smugly assured that nothing will ever disrupt his little world. So absent of anxiety and worry, Peanut overflows with more happiness over mundane things than I do over major events. He gets more excited about a stray kibble than I did at my marriage or the birth of my children. No wonder my nickname for him is “Stoopid.”
I was just jealous, but I am proud to say that I now love Peanut (although I do still call him Stoopid), and that the little guy has taught me a lot. He never worries, yet everything works out for him. He trusts us completely to provide, protect, and care for him, and knowing that just makes us love him more. He makes me wish I had more of his attitude, but I struggle with worry and anxiety. I consider it an occupational hazard, something I suspect I share with most leaders, because leadership roles bring potential worries that few of us prepared for or predicted. You not only have your personal cares, you have an organization to worry about. People’s livelihoods, safety, and security depend upon you. The Peanut Attitude is a fairy-tale, an oblivious and irresponsible sort of existence that few of us can fathom!
Most of us cannot imagine a life without worry, especially in public leadership positions, but we also know that worry and anxiety can overwhelm us physically, mentally, and spiritually. In fact, Proverbs 12:25 states that “anxiety in the heart of man causes depression.” If you are a leader, you know how the weight of worry and anxiety can weigh us down over time. It impacts our relationships with family and colleagues, and it can literally destroy us if left unchecked. As if life leadership offers all of us plenty of things to worry about. We battle with it so constantly that we accept it as part of the job. Worry, anxiety, and chronic fear can plague us in indescribable ways. People depend upon you for their livelihood, safety, and security. Your family depends upon you. So many things can go wrong, and so many things are unknown. We rarely, if ever, talk about this reality, but I suspect we all struggle with it at some level. I know I have, and I know that it has gotten the best of me at times.
I started School Leader Bible Study and Leadership Bible Study to encourage leaders through scripture. Whenever I have struggled with the pressures of leadership, The Bible is often my only refuge and my faith in Christ my only comfort. I do not offer leadership advice or guidance, only connection to scriptures that will encourage you and affirm you in your callings. Some of you are called to lead schools, some to lead governments, and some to lead businesses. All of us, however, know the indescribable pressures of leadership in a social media age. But are we aware that The Bible addresses worry, anxiety, and fear more than just about any other subject? God not only provides us the answer to win the worry war, He expects us not to worry. In fact, Jesus commanded us, “Do not worry . . .” about our clothes, our homes, our food, or our very lives! (Matthew 6:25-34)
Yes, Jesus literally commands us not to worry, which goes against my personality, nature, and professional path. Honestly, have we ever considered the implications of such a command? Can we even imagine a life without worry?
Our jobs are tough enough without adding worry, anxiety, or fear to our burdens. Thankfully, scripture addresses these issues unequivocally. Please join me over the next few weeks as we unpack the concept of worry in light of scripture. I assure you that I have no wisdom to offer you, but I trust Him and His word to work miracles in our hearts, for I need this truth as much as anyone. And just consider what life could be like under The Worry Commandment! I cannot ever imagine having the Peanut Attitude, but I am willing to let God’s Word work on me, for with God, anything is possible, even a worry-free life! (Matthew 19:26)
Please share this devotional with someone who worries!
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