Posted by: frkris | March 14, 2015

Worry!

I was at a Bible study this past week and heard an animated conversation about the nature of WORRY and how when we worry we are committing a sin. I really pondered this for quite some time and it got me thinking about some aspects of my Christian theology.

I think we live in an age where not worrying begins to look attractive. We do not want to know about the state of the climate of the earth beyond our own life span. We do not wish to know about debt of a nation beyond our lifetime. We do not think about the residual effect of our consumption on the rest of the globe. We just live a worry-free existence and claim that this is what God wants for us.

Of course I know I am grossly oversimplifying the conversation but I think there is an aspect of worry that is good and even vital for a Christian disciple. If we are talking about our faith only then worry begins to look like doubt and “backsliding” and there is something in us which finds doubt something that undermines our relationship with God. I might argue that doubting things is a sign of strength….a grounded faith which investigates the truth of Scripture without being afraid to investigate historical and literary issues. Real worry should rest in the heart of someone who blindly embraces dogma and sees a sinner in the mirror whenever life’s hardness causes that person to question God, Jesus, and Spiritual things. I would suggest that striving or wrestling with God is vital to an authentic and lasting faith. When death and tragedy come, we will not have a superficial rule based worry free understanding of God. Rather, we will tremble before the almighty, fully aware of God’s generosity in relation to our humanity.

When we contemplate WORRY in the context of our social context, I believe that God calls us to truly worry about our neighbors. We are called to a place of sacrificial responsibility, where our faith and trust in Jesus Christ is lived out in the world and where our stirring inner waters can change the lives of others by practical response.

So don’t tell me about worry being sinful. I don’t believe it. I think too many people these days walk around having decided that they are able to carry around God’s worry for humanity when it really is not their job. Perhaps those who worry about who gets into heaven, who God favors, and who is a sinner are exhibiting sinful worry….for I will spend my days worrying about why I do not love more…..worrying about why I can’t trust more…..worrying about why I cant find the positive and hopefulness more often.

Perhaps my work in an institution which is a melting pot of worry had my juices flowing. People in a hospital worry about the health….and lots of other things. People worry about family members who are sick. People worry about dying every day. Perhaps my work as a chaplain is to redeem the worry. Transform the worry with God into something of a holy exercise. Where the strain of the journey inward produces and fruit….and faith which needs less form….and hope which is exemplified in a posture of open hands and trust.

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