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Did you know that worry is the number one mental disorder in America? Even in church, it is acceptable to get a case of the worries every now and then. Nobody wants to say anything to you about the issue because they too have fits and spells of anxiety and worry! We now know and understand that many medical problems are closely tied to worry or anxiety… such as heart trouble, blood pressure, ulcers, thyroid malfunction, migraine headaches, and a host of stomach disorders.
Have you done any worrying lately? Have you felt convicted about it? In this particular section of scripture Jesus addresses His comments not to the crowd at large, but to His disciples.
Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.” Luke 12:22
Some translations render verse twenty-two “for this reason I say to you.” Since these words are addressed to the disciples, the implication is that worry is one of the besetting sins of believers… and particularly to Jesus’ personal disciples.
- We have seen them struggle about how to feed the 5000.
- We have seen them worry about the storms while sailing the Sea of Galilee.
- We have seen them stumble over demonic issues.
- We have seen them worry about many of Jesus’ personal ministry decisions.
It is interesting to me that many of the believer’s problems are God related! Ouch! If God didn’t give me problems… I wouldn’t have any! Not really. But, many of my problems are God related. Many of my struggles and difficulties have arisen totally because of my commitment to Christ. Hey, if you are like me… I am constantly going through something.
As believers we are not immune to worry because we live under the same pressures of society. In addition, our spiritual commitment adds even more worry weight to our shoulders. It is even possible to worry about being a worrier. We know that we shouldn’t worry, but we just can’t seem to get a grip on the issue.
Worry has now become one of those socially acceptable sins, even in the Christian circles. As Chuck Swindol notes,
We would never smile at a Christian who staggered into his home… night after night drunk and abusive. But we often smile at a Christian friend who worries. We would not joke about a brother or sister in God’s family who stole someone’s car, but we regularly joke about worrying over some detail in life.
Why does God call worry a sin anyway? Worry is a faith killer! The primary New Testament word for worry is (merimnao) which means “to take thought of” or “to be careful about.” Those who let worry reign in their lives ultimately struggle with faith issues. The Greek word for worry actually gives the picture of a divided mind. The worrier has a mind which is torn between the real and the possible, the immediate and potential… heaven’s ways and earth’s realities.
Whether or not worry is acceptable in the Christian circles you live, you should seek to eliminate worry from your life. If you really desire to be a man or woman of faith, then worry must be conquered…not accepted. I will offer more help next time.