Read 1 Peter 5:7-8
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (NIV)
We are told often enough that worry is not good for us. We are told often enough to give our worries to God; after all he cares for us. Our text suggests we do this very thing. Of course, it is easier said than done: we can find ourselves giving our worries to God and then find ourselves worrying about those very things shortly afterwards.
In which case, we claim the second part of this passage and realise the evil one is trying to get us to take those anxieties back on our own shoulders. Our prayers have been mere words, not a decisive act of commitment and faith. We have neglected to replace those negative anxieties with words and thoughts of faith.
But there is another dimension to all this. Anxiety not only affects us but others. My anxiety can unsettle others. My fixation with my problem can affect my relationship with others. It is well understood by those in leadership that in troubled times the leader needs to be a relatively ‘non-anxious presence’. If the leader is consumed with worry, then it becomes contagious. Those being led become insecure and stressed.
Another good reason to take our text seriously, no matter how hard it may seem. Our worries may be catching.