Monday, January 9, 2017

Worriers all

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?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)

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.


Austin Towers said...

This has been very difficult for me to read today as I am guilty, although I do feel for me anxiety is a result of having chronic illness not the cause as the cause can be traced. However the remedy is the same. I shall follow this study with interest xx

Katie Isabella said...

I love this; and while women of the Bible is always on point, so too is this. Thank you.

Cathy said...

I needed to hear this this today. Thank you! WOuldn’t that get together in the coffee shop be fabulous! I can picture it in my head.... hugs and tears and laughter, along with the serious talk and study......

ckrut said...

I have to remind myself of this all the time. I'm always saying worry is a sin. I don't like to take any medications if I can help it, and I frequently hear people say everyone should take the "happy" pill. So wrong. But, I tend to get anxious about things. Have to calm myself down. Particularly when it comes to medical issues. Look forward to this "lesson" and wish we could all sit together over coffee to discuss it. Thank you!