Monday, March 16, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 66)

Jesus said, “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious about itself...”
— Matthew 6:34a (USC)
God’s will is satisfied in the satiable delight of humankind that delights in life as it is. There are so many very basic and ordinary things that God provides, as if on-tap, and the majority of the world finds its ease in the society within which it lives. No doubt there are large populaces that face incredible need, but just about everyone reading this will have at least some choice over their living circumstances.
Many people have much to worry about in their immediate moment.
This verse isn’t saying don’t worry for things that are worthy of worrying over. Some things that are worthy of worry — the tenuous aspects of grief, for instance — and God bids us our due course, with his Presence!
There are entire seasons where worry is not only necessary; our circumstances give us absolutely no choice. Our hearts are rent asunder and our minds are overwhelmed with pitch dark thoughts.
It’s appropriate during these times to go a little greyer. It’s appropriate to be pushed to the limit so as to melt into the arms of the Lord. It’s even appropriate to be so stressed as to need another person’s support.
Anxiousness and anxiety are not wrong, in and of themselves.
Where they become wrong is when they are unnecessary and superfluous. When we worry about the things that don’t concern us, or over needs that will most certainly be met, or when, for a little more faith, everything will work out.
We will be stressed about our families when they’re ailing. We would be poor stewards of our relationships if we didn’t care so much as to worry our prayers to God.
We must always ask ourselves — in being the best servants of God we can be — if our concerns are appropriately weighted and accurately directed. Inappropriately weighted and inaccurately directed concerns are not only a waste of energy, they are harmful to our relationships. The one thing we are not stewarding well is truth.
A wise grasp on truth means our anxious concern is appropriately weighted and accurately directed. Such concern will drive us toward the right level and variety of action.
Jesus doesn’t say, “Don’t worry.” He says, “Be concerned only for the right things.”
1.     What usually tops your list of concerns? What proportion of your anxiousness is well weighted and directed?
2.     How will you overcome any propensity you have to be anxious? If you cannot overcome it, how will you reduce it?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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