HOW TO KILL WORRY WITH A SHARP KNIFE!
Did Christ say:
“Do not worry about your life” [Matt 6v25]
Answer (Yes or No)..............
Did Paul say:
“I would like you to be free from concern..” [I Cor 7v32]
“Do not be anxious about anything” [Phil 4v6] Answer.............
“Cast all your anxiety on Him (God)” [IPet 5v7]
From this, is it a SIN to worry?
When you worry are you sinning?
Should you sin against God’s clear instructions?
Do you worry?
If YES - then - What are you going to do about your sinful habit of worrying?
(If NO - go straight to Heaven, do not stop at Go, collect £500 on the way!!)
But seriously, we all worry to a certain extent. Indeed, a SMALL amount of tension can help us to concentrate out mind on doing a job to the very best of our ability. But for most people, worry is a very great burden that often REDUCES our ability to cope with the many problems just of each day.
Worry does absolutely nothing towards actually dealing with a problem. Christ said “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” [Matt 6v27]. What I have tried to emphasise in the simple setting of the questions in a blunt fashion is to highlight the fact that WORRY IS A SIN, and we all MUST deal with it in a Biblical way. We are not allowed the option of wallowing in a turbulent sea of worry: We have definite instructions from the Owner of our ship that we are to grasp the helm and steer our vessel out of the storm and into the quiet waters of a heart at peace with God and the World.
How can this be achieved? By using a VERY sharp knife!
We are committed to working for the Glory of God, and the Bible has numerous directives regarding this. Paul frequently urges his readers to work diligently for the Kingdom. Just one example, in I Cor 10v31 Paul says “Whatever you do, do it all for the Glory of God”. This is a call to give of our best at all times no matter who we may be working for. Taken on its own (as no Scripture should ever be) this could be taken to an extreme.
A sincere Christian may work very hard for the Church, but this can begin to merge into overwork, tiredness sets in, depression can arise, and before they are aware they can be m the middle of a full blown “nervous breakdown”. When this happens, the oversensitive Christian can wonder where he has gone wrong.
The remedy, as ever, is in the Bible.
Paul not only said we should do all for the Lord, BUT he also said “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE..”. Therefore a balance has to be struck between working hard for the Lord and living a life of peace. ”
The secret is to be able to distinguish clearly what our responsibilities are in any given situation - AND DOING THEM TO THE BEST OF OUR (REASONABLE) ABILITY, and realising that what we CANNOT do anything about MUST BE LEFT IN THE HANDS OF GOD.
So we must ask ourselves
l. What steps can I reasonably take in this situation?
2. What is there that I cannot affect, and therefore MUST leave to God?
This is where the sharp knife is essential. THE SHARPER THIS DIVISION IS MADE, THE MORE PEACEFUL OUR HEARTS WILL BE, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF STORMS AND TROUBLES.
When this division of responsibility is clouded and vague, there will arise two types of problems depending upon which side the knife has cut in error.
The most likely situation is to worry about something over which we can exert no influence. It is essential to TRAIN ourselves NOT to worry but carry on with the ordinary things of life. This helps to distract our attention from the present problems and continue to give our full service to those who depend upon us. This training may not be easy, but if Christ had commanded us not to worry, then it is our duty and is obviously achievable. We must not give in to what may well be an indirect form of self-pity. Even worse, it can be a subtle form of demonstrating to others how “caring” we are about other people. There are many examples of Christians who have suffered extreme losses or terrible experiences (e.g. Joni Eriksson), and yet have been calm and have a deep sense of peace within their heart.
The opposite, (which is less frequent in the lives of true Christians) is to fail to carry out the tasks for which we have a clear responsibility. This indicates a slackness in our spiritual life and if we are inclined in this direction, we will have generated problems that should alert us or our Christian friends. A gentle word should be given in love to become a better ambassador for Christ in all that we do.
Let me give a concrete example. A child has a serious accident in the home. The mother rushes it to hospital, and has to leave the child in their care. Having prayed about the outcome, she must then leave it all in God’s hands. She can return to the home and continue to serve the family as normally as she can. Should she indulge in continued worry that affects her ability to cope or the atmosphere of the house, then she is not living the balanced life of the mature Christian, which should be the goal of us all.
So next time you find yourself burdened by worry, get out the sharp knife and kill it dead!
M. Bowden. 18.4.93
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