In Life Group yesterday, which is traditionally called Sunday School, my Life Group teacher and friend discussed the topic of worry. He was honest in sharing his struggles with worry, while some in the class ( myself being one of them) wasn’t so quick to let others know they struggles with worry. The truth is, we all have worry warts.
My friend and teacher made a good point -worry is an attack on the character of God. I must admit as I sat there pondering the things I worry about, and the problems it causes in relationships, it hit me that worry was a sign of the root problem of a breach in my relationship with God. Two days prior to this class I had read in a text book for class that worry was irrational, unproductive, and pagan.1
So, to sum up as shortly as possible – when we worry it is a heinous sin. God cares for the birds or the air and the flowers of the field. How insulting is it to live as if we don’t believe He can or actually will care for us – beings who He created in His own image? To doubt He can is to doubt His power and to doubt He will is to doubt His person.
It hurts me when I tell my sons to do something promising to not let them get hurt and they hesitate or refuse to act for fear of getting hurt because they don’t trust me. Yet I do this daily to God. I worry about things I can’t control instead of trust Him to work all things after the counsel of His own will. I freeze in fear, or decide to take another route that looks more safe. This is nothing short of wicked.
My son was singing and snorting along to a song tonight as he lay in bed. One I use to listen to when I was his age. It’s by Patch the Pirate and the lyrics go like this:
My name is worry warthog
I live in misery.
Instead of trusting in the LORD I worry constantly.
Although I know it’s silly,
Although I know it’s bad
I guess I find a certain joy in always looking sad.
Yes, I’m a worry warthog *SNORT*
I worry every day
I worry (*SNORT* *SNORT*), worry (*SNORT* *SNORT*) all my time away
and if you want to look like me just fear and fret and snort (*SNORT*)
And very soon you’ll break out with a great big worry wart.
Sometimes my mother asks me
“Why must you worry so?
Our gracious heavenly Father loves all creatures here below.
You worry in the nighttime,
You cry when you’re alone.
I fear you’ll be one great big wart before you’re even grown.”
– Oh, worry! I’ll probably forget the words to this next verse! –
I worry that my pigmates
will treat me mean and cruel
And I might even fail a test and flunk right out of school
I fear my friends won’t like me as well as other swine
and maybe I won’t even get a piggy Valentine.
I must say, in light of today’s Life Group lesson God used a silly song like that to drive home even further the seriousness of the sin of worry.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ” Matthew 6:25-34 (NASB)
1Lea, Thomas D., and Black, David Alen, The New Testament Its Background and Message, B&H Academic, 2003.