I know, right? We're supposed to be getting back on board and studying the women of the Bible . . .
But I feel like the Holy Spirit is urging me to do this study first. And we may take two weeks on this one, so hang on for the ride! (I brought the first aid kit, so we are prepared!)
Let's imagine if all of us were seated in a coffee shop together (wouldn't that be awesome, to meet each other, and exchange stories and hugs? Sweet!) and we all had our cups of java or tea, and were settled down to talk over our pocket Bibles. I would be honored to lead that study, just as I am to lead this online group each day.
Suppose that I asked if every one of us who struggle with worry would raise their hands?
Probably half, or maybe two-thirds of us would smile and put our hand up in the air. We might chuckle -- after all, doesn't everyone worry?
No big deal, right?
Shaking your head at me, I can hear it! Here's the difference: if we had a group and asked everyone who had committed adultery, or taken the Lord's name in vain, to raise their hands -- do you honestly think anyone would put their hand in the air?
We will admit that we worry because we think it's a itty-bitty sin. Kind of like when we lose our tempers in traffic, or when we re-tell a morsel of "news" (gossip) that we heard. We just don't put it on the list of "big sins," so we don't feel we need to keep it hidden. And we actually chuckle about it.
But Jesus didn't make that distinction. He said that sins are sins, not itty bitty or big.
Let's read a few verses, OK?
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus devoted ten verses to the subject of worry. He made it pretty clear that worry is a sin, a serious one.
It's easy to see why.
Worry can ruin our health and our physical well-being. The number one killer in America is heart disease, much of it brought on by high blood pressure and anxiety. People have panic attacks and stress related pains, impacting their ability to work, to play, and more.
Worry really messes with our emotional status, too. How many people do you know that are relying on medicines to help them greet each new day? Valium, Prozac, and many more -- they are all words that are familiar in this day and age, as we struggle with stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Worry does a number on our spiritual life, too. If we are burdened down with worry, and pre-occupied with worried thoughts, how in the world can we focus on our Bible reading, or truly listen to God in our prayer times?
This is the focus of our study for the next few days. I sure hope you will join us.