How To Live Without Worry
Yesterday, I taught my Sunday School class a lesson on worry. This lesson came from the part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6) when Jesus instructs his listeners to “not worry.” He explains that the birds of the air and flowers on the ground are both taken care of by God so why wouldn’t a believer expect to be taken care of so much more fully?
I am a high worrier and always have been but I have made some progress in this area, thanks to God showing me two things. First, I have learned that Christ lives inside me (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20). Through this reality, I begin to filter my situations through the Jesus filter. For example, if I am worried about looking like a failure to others I run that worry in front of the Christ who dwells inside me. I realize that Jesus doesn’t have bias, hangups, personal whims, and sin that cloud his judgement. I realize that Jesus will see my heart and my true intentions and will not remove his presence from me no matter my earthly successes or failures. I understand that he is merciful, accepting and loving and most other people are not. I realize that Jesus has the ability to fully grasp a situation and my role in it and understand the truth while other people do not have the capability of doing this. I may screw up and sin and fail to live up to Christ’s standard but unlike fickle and disjointed humans whose love and acceptance may be superficial, Christ love is full of depth and intensity that will not be undone by mere circumstances.
Secondly, I understand that I am a part of the Kingdom of God and that inside the Kingdom is abundant blessing. The Beatitudes are not a laundry list of “to-dos” but an example of how no matter your circumstance, God has a blessing for you when you are seeking his Kingdom and his righteousness. So, why should I worry when I have the savior of the world and the most loving person who ever stepped foot on earth living inside of me? Why should I worry when God is in the business of turning undesirable things into glorious things and that my situations, no matter how dire it may be, can be transformed into exactly what I need and what will be best for me.
I may never let go of worry in my life but I have learned, in specific circumstances, to quickly find that point in which the assurance and realization of who I am in Christ and the availability of blessing in God’s kingdom reminds me that worry is a fruitless endeavor and one of Satan’s deepest tricks.
For more on the idea of the indwelling of Christ, read James Bryan Smith’s Good and Beautiful God.