The Big Sin
If worry were classified as an addiction (actually, I think it might be) I would be a charter member of that 12-Step program. “Hi! My name is CJ! I’m a worryholic. It’s been 3 minutes since my last worry…” Worry is hands down one of the most consistent areas of disobedience that I can think of for the Christian. I call it disobedience because it is. Jesus could not have been more clear in his instruction: “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?” ~Matthew 6:25
It’s surprising how little is said about this. Rather than confronting the rank insubordination we each practice in respect to worry, it has somehow morphed into a virtue! It’s become associated with maturity. Moreover, we’re suspicious of the carefree. They seem a bit daft, or naïve, or both when there’s so much out there that’s worthy of the sigh and the furrowed brow. Jesus himself appears naïve. He only mentions food, drink, clothes and shelter. Hah! Does he have a clue all that there is in life over which to worry? Actually, he does. Thus, his offer of peace – not as the world offers but of a quality and kind in which only heaven specializes.
Now, it seems rather pointless to add heaps of shame and guilt to our worry. That just gives us something else to worry about. But the good news is that the Lord knows all about this common weakness of ours and has set at least two things in play to help us. We’ll touch on one today and one tomorrow.
The first of these is what I would call redirection. We’ve all done it with children. Be they a wee lad or lassie, they each have the capacity to be drama queens. A drama queen is not gender specific. So, whenever I am serving in the role of caretaker and one of their tiny heads meets with the corner of an unforgiving coffee table, I redirect the tragedy. It can come in the form of a treat or by simply pointing out the window at something interesting. Most of the time the primal screams diminish with a few feeble shudders and all is well. We’ve moved on.
And Jesus does that with us. He doesn’t tell us to just sit around and not worry. We’re to do something: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33,34
It is simple advice that proves a fortune. Seek him. Seek out his kingdom. Consider who it is you belong to. Allow faith to rise up and then soar above the circumstance. Learn to look down on your worries. Don’t live under them….I could keep going with these bumper stickers if you wish but I think you get the point. You’re free to continue to labor away with your worries – we’re always free to sin – but worrying will do nothing to bring an end to the worry, nor will it bring you any closer to the comfort of God. Why not just go for the latter first and see what happens? What have you got to lose except your worries?