Worry - an enemy of Generosity (and faith)
November 7, 2017
Worry affects all of us – and attacks not only our practice of generosity, but all aspects of our life and faith.
Blessed are you…
In Sunday’s sermon, I reflected on how the promise of blessing from the Beatitudes helps sustain us in times of worry. The Beatitudes are the opening words of the Sermon on the Mount, but later in the sermon, Jesus confronts worry again. Read Matthew 6:25-34 when you want to be reminded that if God cares about the lilies of the field and the birds of the air – God certainly cares about we who are called into special relationship with the living God. This passage includes my favorite of Jesus’ sayings, “Which one of you, by worrying, can add a single hour to your life?” The fact is, that while worry can consume our time and energy – it can’t give us any time or energy!
Worried and Distracted…
The Sermon on the Mount isn’t the only time that Jesus teaches about the power of worrying. When visiting in the home of Mary and Martha – Jesus warns the elder sister that worry and distraction are keeping her from truly connecting with Jesus. Though she is seeking to be a good hostess, her attentiveness has shifted away from the guest to the many tasks at hand. How often are we worried and distracted by the tasks and miss the presence of Jesus in our life? You can read the story for yourself in Luke 10:38-42.
Philippians 4:6 it!
Finally, I remain so thankful to the members of our congregation who have reminded me to “Philippians 4:6 it!” I love the idea of turning a verse into a verb…isn’t that what the LIVING WORD is supposed to do in our lives? God’s word calls for action…and in this case, the action is overcoming worry with prayer and thanks to God who grants us peace. Philippians 4:6 (and 7!) are great reminders that we might want to spend some time with in our prayerful devotion this week:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:6-7
Use these texts to confront the power of worry during your practice of Faith 5 or whatever devotional practice you use. I hope they are a gift to you as you battle worry and the enemies of generosity this month.