During one session of a Sunday school class, I was teaching on the subject of worry, I asked the participants to report on an exercise I had suggested the previous week for kicking the worry out of their lives. One woman said she began the experiment Monday morning, and by Friday she felt the worry pattern that had plagued her for years was finally broken.
What accomplished this radical improvement? It was a simple method of applying God’s Word to her life in a new way. I have shared this method with hundreds of people in my counseling office and with thousands in classes and seminars.
Take a blank index card, and on one side write the word STOP in large, bold letters. On the other side, write the complete text of Philippians 4:6‑9:
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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Keep the card with you at all times. Whenever you’re alone and begin to worry, take the card out, hold the STOP side in front of you, and say aloud, “Stop!” Then turn the card over and read the Scripture passage aloud twice with emphasis.
Taking the card out interrupts your thought pattern of fear and worry. Saying “Stop!” further breaks your automatic habit pattern of worry. Then, reading the Word of God aloud becomes the positive substitute for worry. If you are in a group of people and begin to worry, follow the same procedure, only do it silently.
The woman who shared her experience with the class said that on the first day of her experiment, she took the card out 20 times during the day. But on Friday, she only took it out three times. She said, “For the first time in my life, I have hope that my worrisome thinking can be chased out of my life.”
Freedom from worry is possible! It requires that you practice the diligent application of God’s Word in your life. This means repetitive behavior. If you fail the first time, don’t give up. You may have practiced fear and worry for many years, and now you need to practice consistently the application of Scripture over a long period in order to completely establish a new, fear– and worry‑free pattern.