I've been getting caught up on some of my podcasts, and this morning I listened to an excellent talk given by Dr. Charles Swindoll at a Dallas Theological Seminary chapel service (from 4/17/07). He had some good words to say about worry.
1. Anxiety highlights the human viewpoint, strangling God's viewpoint. I begin to see statistics and trends instead of seeing things from God's perspective. This produces fear.
2. Anxiety chokes our ability to distinguish the incidental from the essential. (Matt. 6:33) This produces distraction.
3. Anxiety twists worries around our mind so that we cannot relax and we become unfruitful and impatient. It strangles what would otherwise be the fruit of the Spirit in my life. This produces unfruitfulness.
4. Anxiety syphons our energy and our joy, making us judgemental of others. This produces negativity.
He spoke from Luke 10:38-42, the story of Mary and Martha. He pointed out that there are more of us in the Martha category than the Mary. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things." Does this describe you? It does me. Worried and bothered about so many things.
I worry when I add...
- more things to an already full schedule
- pressure by thinking "My image and reputation are involved in this."
- expectations to what hasn't happened
...and that makes me angry.
I worry when I subtract...
- God's presence from my crisis
- prayer from my day
- perspective from the moment of difficulty
...and that makes me doubt.
I worry when I multiply...
- my problems by inserting human solutions
- human solutions so rapidly that I miss the perspective
- my fears with imagination (What if.....? Maybe....)
...and that makes me afraid.
I worry when I divide...
- my life into the secular and the sacred
- my day into the Lord's part and my part
...and that makes me forget.
So, angry, doubting, afraid and forgetting, I feel a lot like Martha. I think we've all been there, some of us may find ourselves there today.
May we remember that He is at work right now! God says that "before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24
Heavenly Father, may I trust You for the things I have been worrying about and leave the results with You.