I tend to think of worry exclusively as a noun, as a thing that happens to me, like an emotion that comes over me which I am helpless to stop.
But that is not the full story on worry.
Worry is also a verb.
If worry is also a verb, then I must also admit I have a choice in the matter. I can give in to worry, set myself up to keep worrying, stay in that spot that allows me full worrying power, keep scrolling through that app that foments my worry.
I can go the other way. I can decide to stop worrying. Or at least I can decide to fight the tendency to worry. I can get up and go for a walk. I can phone a friend. I can try my best to push the thought out and think on something else.
I can also employ that worry action to good thoughts. The Bible calls this meditating. To meditate means to chew on, which is a lot like worrying except the focus is different. We meditate on, think on what is good and excellent.
Philippians 4:8 “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
This is how Jesus can command us to not worry: “Do not be anxious about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34). This is how David can say, “Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil” (Psalm 37:8). Because worry is not just a feeling that comes on me but also an action I can decide to encourage or discourage.