This week we are studying that "respectable" sin of worry. The one that we don't think is such a big deal . . . but it is!
Our focus passage is from the Sermon on the Mount, and they are some of the most beloved verses of the New Testament. But do we follow their guidance? Hang on, while we dive in again!
Have you ever wondered why worry is such a problem today? Why is it so common? Why do so many Christians admit to struggling with worry and anxiety?
I guess some of it has to do with how we are wired. Our personalities. For some people, pressure rolls right off like a drop of rain on a duck. They almost never worry. Stress? Not very often. If things start to go downhill, they stay loose and "roll with it." But other people are just not wired that way. They are a little melancholy, or a lot perfectionist. (Grin) They really are sticklers for details and they go into absolute agonies over small things that go wrong. It is they who are our chronic worriers, although our "roll with it" folks are sometimes beset with anxiety -- they are not entirely immune!
Some of the worry has to do with the affluence of today. Solomon saw this, and I reckon (sorry, I get more like my grandma every day) that he said this from personal experience:
Remember all of the commercials that we see on television? All of those companies that want to sell us security systems? The more we possess, the more we have to protect, and insure for loss, and worry about.
Yet another reason for worry is media (and social media, too). We are living in an age where information is instantly available. Things that we would have been completely unaware of, a hundred or so years ago, are readily and quickly known. A weapon launched halfway around the world from us, the stock market in another country, or a virus that breaks out in a different hemisphere than the one we live in. It all adds up to an information overload that our ancestors never could have dreamed of. People attack each other by tweeting, which is something that birds used to have a monopoly on. We all are tied to our mobile phones, and get the latest and greatest news any time of the day or night.
Still another cause for anxiety are our own experiences. As we grow and mature, we see and experience things -- that's all well and good. But as we age, we can begin to worry more, because we know of accidents and tragedies that have happened, and can happen again to some of those we love.
But the real reason for worry is usually a lack of faith in our Father.
Yes, that got my toes, too.
But it's true. Humans want to be in control of everything. We have a difficult time accepting the fact that there are some things we cannot direct. There are areas of our lives that we find it difficult to surrender. But it's imperative that we "cast our anxiety" on Him, for He cares for us. Then we won't be tempted to spend valuable time fretting over things that are in His hands.
We'll continue our study tomorrow!