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Concern vs. Worry

Updated: Nov 3, 2020


Positive Examples: Merimnao means appropriate care or concern.

Negative Uses: Merimnao means over-concern or anxiousness..

The negative usage raises a fundamental question. What does the word mean? Merimnao shares a connection with a similar word which is the word merizo. This word literally means “to divide,” “to draw in different directions,” “distract,” or  “an anxious care.”

We become divided when we set something good in this world up to be the primary thing in our life instead of what really matters. This is often referred to as “worldliness.” When you put something good in this world, such as health, finances, marriage, children, career or anything else in creation ultimate in your life you are divided and “worldly." We become unbalanced when we seek to satisfy our natural desires more than we need to. In a sense, we want too much of a good thing. When something is out-of-balance in our lives, things begin to fall apart slowly at first, gradually, then suddenly. This is often what happens when people become addicted to drugs and alcohol. The drugs and alcohol are a symptom of the underlying desire for "more." However, there is also something deep inside of us, some call it our soul, that seeks to balance itself, or correct itself. The recognition that things are out of balance and then having the desire to correct it, is the first stage of recovery.

What does this have to do with Worry or Concern?

When we are worried that we won't be able to meet our desires we are worrying about something that we should not be worrying about. We are afraid of not having enough, or having too little of what we think we need. This is worry.

Concern is when we know we have responsibilities and needs, but we are not overly anxious about getting those needs met. Concern is appropriate and has room for faith, trust, and hope. Worry is not able to contain these positive characteristics. In fact, worry is the process by which we exclude hope, faith, and love from our lives and seek to arrange life to suit ourselves.

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