It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hand Wringing and Doom and Gloomers

If it is a sin to worry... oh, wait.. you may not know that, let me set my premise to this whole chat then.

In Matthew, chapter six, Jesus speaks a good deal of worry, he asks us if it really gets us any where and in a way answers that and then says to not worry because He will take care of us.

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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 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.

Worry and being anxious is in direct opposition to faith, anxiety is the opposite of what Christ calls us to, He calls us to have faith in Him, not in our strength, not in dates and opinion polls, not in our ability to fuss and worry over all things in life, but to have faith in His strength, to rely on Him.

Christ tells us not to worry about earthly things, clothes, food, friends, He even tells us not to worry about what would be terribly important, our testimony when we are arrested because we know Him.

Even modern science tell us that worry, stress, robs from us. It makes us age faster. Like Christ says, today has enough trouble of its own, like the poor, there will always be stresses, ones that we cannot escape, ones that are not a result of faith breaking worry and fear. But we are not to heap on the troubles of today and worry and fear our tomorrows. Worry certainly does not buy us more time and science backs that one up. Not because Christ needs modern science to back Him up, but interesting how the truth of the words of Christ do not need to see the end of this world to be plainly seen as true, right and good.

What is sin really, but to go against God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit? To live in and for the flesh and not reside in the Spirit, all of that, it is all sin. Sorry, if that just broadens the scope of what is sin and what is not, in your world. But to worry, to fret, to fear situations, is to not have faith, to not rest in God and take Him at His word, that He will take care of us.

Check it out, you do not have to become a breatharian ascetic to live a Spirit-led, faith-filled, anxiety-denying life. The Spirit leads us to eat and eat peacefully. True servants of His made cloth for clothing and tents for shelter. He calls us to be in company with one another, to crave to be in fellowship, to travel, to do good deeds of all sorts. But all that for Christ and not our very own flesh.

Might I go on now?

So its a sin to worry and be anxious and sin will always come into the world, we aren't going to stop it at the gate. However, if the one who lets the sin slip by them and causes a child of God to sin there by drawing an eventual remorse so strong that the Path-Paver would then choose to be drown for certain in the sea with a millstone around their neck, then why on earth would you desire to cause or stir up worry in another person?

Just wonderin'.

(Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2 in case you think I'm nutty about what happens to the path pavers, wide gate openers, uh, what they would rather have happen to them.)

So if you would not wish to cause another worry whether for their soul or for your very own neck, then why would you do business with a person who trades on anxieties and worries to make their buck?

Now I am not talking about not buying a safe ladder, or rubber gloves, or new brakes for your car, or vitamin C.

Remember, weavers, tent makers, moms, dads, travelers, neighbors we're all called to be His.

What I am speaking of, wondering about is, perpetuating the commerce of anxiety by buying into doom and gloom and "whoa is us", and "oh no the world is coming to an end" or at least a whopping good crisis.

I got news for you. The world is going to end. That is with out a doubt.

However, no one knows that day and time, not even Christ, only the Father. And no one is going to escape it no matter how deep their bomb shelter, or secluded their dwelling, or stocked their root cellar is, because it will end at God's hand, not a bomb, not a nuclear winter, not a carbon overloaded-sky-climate change.

I am not saying that you ought not to be prepared for the future, if you are headed for a trip in the mountains, by all means, grab your coat and put the chains in the trunk. But for crying out loud, do not worry and do not borrow trouble that is not there for you.

What business is it that these purveyors of doom and worry are in? You find them every where, selling nearly everything, everything but real peace and contentment. They will even sell you false mind-numbing contentment if you want it. They will convince you you have some crisis. They sell you themselves and their ideas, they sell you products to stave off the end of the world or at least protect you, or numb you, but mostly what they are selling you is anxiety, worry and a fraudulent product.

Y2K bring back any memories for anyone? A contrived crisis, where no one was reminded to rely on God but instead they were sold millions of dollars of "survival goods." The only business that hurt from that one was the sorry fellas that don't know how to be good hucksters: find or contrive a weakness, a fear; strike it; suck it for all its worth; and then move on to the next thing.

Some purveyors of panic are very good, very discrete, you can hardly tell what they are up to, it all seems so sweet and well meaning, and "golly, I was wondering about that too." No clear signs of selling fretfulness.

But then there are the others, that because no one calls out the selling of worry and whoa, doom and gloom, they are just plain bold, and the point is right there in their very own words.

Yes, they may be dressed up all cutesy in overalls and a floppy garden hat, or Victorian garb and dainty lace gloves, but their message of looming crisis is strong and unabashedly bold in print. "Buy our product because there is a crisis on the horizon, a big one, a prolonged one. To make it through you need us."

They say their product brings you peace.

With that one Dear Christ-Follower, you ought to hear in your head, your gut, your heart, your spirit, the sound of a needle sliding across a rotating disc of vinyl.

No one brings peace in a crisis or in daily life but Christ. And Christ says not to worry.

Then why are you buying into a product that is wringing its hands on the sideline with a pitifully knit brow and tears in its eyes for the Unprepared?

And low and behold nine times out of ten the product is faulty. Food in tin cans can not last forever, grain once it is ground will loose its nutrition, and many seeds do not last for five years, albeit some last longer, but some last a little over a year.

Live right right now.

Don't by a bucket of stale right living and put it in your freezer to pull out when the crisis hits. Most plants for food take an average of three months to mature, the unprepared ground another month or two to prep, given even that the right crisis hits in the right season, what good is it to bank on a salvation that comes four months after the crisis?

Look, I'm not saying that it isn't a good idea to garden and learn to save seed, in fact that is what I am saying, learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, make your food today, save of your harvest what you know you will need for the next day's planting, be an ant, be wise, be fruitful but do not worry. There is a big difference.

I'm not saying to be indolent and then arrive at my back door or freeway off ramp when your belly is a little empty. Learn to work your soil and your muscles so that you are not found weak and un-knowledgeable. But that takes daily practice, not a bucket in your freezer to be pulled out when the crisis finally hits.

And if you have no soil of your own or your muscles are not what they used to be? Find an honest business that is there to fill your needs, your honest needs, not your pretend or sinful needs. Hire them to do what you cannot, there is nothing wrong with that. The concept of self-reliance is not only quite far fetched it is also not how we are to live.

We are to live in community, relying on each other no matter how painful and irritating that may be. But we are to do so with honesty and forthrightness. Not manipulating each other's base fleshly worries and oiling up our panic buttons.

Being in a line of work or having a fairly decent smattering of skills that could play along with the current "green" crisis business, it is very tempting to join hands and participate in the nonsense that could make cash for my hip pocket.

To part hand-wringers from their hard earned cash in a barely honest manner is very tempting, "everyone is doing it", and good people are participating and buying into it, why shouldn't I?

Why shouldn't I? Because it will make my Father's stomach turn? Because it will grieve the Holy Spirit in whom I ought to be relying on to teach me better ways?

Because it will continue to cause others to sin?

And golly, I really don't like the idea of drowning.


LindaSueBuhl said...

I hate the visual of a millstone around my neck and the deepest part of the ocean - ::shudder:::
I recently signed up for a newsletter which definitely qualifies as a doom purveyor - gonna cancel that puppy pretty quick. We have made complete and total crisis preparations - we have a place in heaven no matter what happens here. So once again - Sister in the Faith - we agree - despite our many differences - we are thinking alike (which ought to be one of the proofs of impending apolalypse!) good thinkin' and thank you for sharing

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Lanny: Did you do this especially for tax day. Tomorrow we must render to Ceaser what is his and more. Am I worried, no. I already sent a check.

Daisy said...

No point in borrowing trouble from the future. Each day brings enough of its own. Worry serves no purpose as far as I can tell, so I try not to do it, but I still fail and do it anyway. Acceptance and faith are the way to go even though I sometimes struggle with both.

Susie said...

Girl, I try not to worry and most of the time I don't. But thanks for this post, it really spoke to my heart.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great post pretty much covered worry as a sin. I find worry and patience to be things I need to work on..I am not perfect. Good thing I know where I am headed..with my ticket stamped Paid In Full!! :)

Together We Save said...

Wonderful post!!

Anonymous said...

Walk without fear or worry, just like the sparrows who fly above your head.

I think worry is the result of things each brings on themselves.

Buy a new car and then "worry" about making payments.

Darla said...

Did you write this for me? I am constantly quoting, Joshua 19 Be strong and of good courage: Do not be afraid or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go...

Darla said...

Sorry, Joshua 1:9

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you should bring this up today. my sis-in-law and I were just talking about the same subject yesterday. She has been buying things in bulk to stock up the pantry and trying to get debts paid off soon. I told her that I try to do the same thing. Not because I'm worried but because I can be prepared and excited for what God is bringing about. Whether that's today, tomorrow, or 23 years from now. We don't know!

There are times that the "doom and gloom" of the day starts to get to me, but when I remind myself that God is always, always, ALWAYS in control, I begin to relax.
He knows the day, hour, minute, to the very second when it will all come to a conclusion. I'm excited about that.

I grow my garden for fun, health, and because it's a good thing to know how to do. I sew things for the same reasons.
And of course, it never hurts to pay off some debt when you can.

Lanny, you have a way of pointing out the obvious in new ways. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

God is good! God is faithful! God is in control!

Jo said...

Thank you for this message Lanny. I know not to worry and I try every day to control it. Sometimes I do good and don't worry. Then there are those days that I am weak and it controls me. When I was many years younger than the 61 that I am now I spoke to a Dr. about my worrying all of the time and he told me that was part of me, that if I had nothing to worry about then I would worry about that. I stepped back and took a look at myself and sure enough he was right. So keep me in your prayers that one day I will be able to lay my troubles down and walk away and leave my troubles behind.

You asked about Paddy's breed makeup. The dog catcher said that he thought she was terrier and dachshund mixed. She is a sweetheart. Have a blessed weekend.

Cliff said...

So then I shouldn't have my uncle call you about his new 'whole life product line'??