Summary: This sermon looks at the sin of worry by looking at three key passages that point to God’s higher vision for our lives - a life of peace.
“I’m worried about my kids.”
Worry just seems to be a natural part of parenthood. How many Moms have said, “It’s a mother’s job to worry about her kids”?
As easy as it is to worry about your kids and as quick as we are to excuse our worry as being a natural part of parenthood, we need to name worry for what it is this morning: a sin. There is no indication anywhere in Scripture that our worry is excusable. On the other hand, there is a multitude of evidence that our excusing our worry and allowing it to maintain its rule in our lives is keeping us from enjoying something far better - something God longs to bring into our lives.
Let’s dig into this problem and see what the Bible has to say. . .
TWO IMPORTANT STARTING POINTS:
So that we’re all on the same page, let me clarify a couple of things:
1. There is a difference between concern and worry.
- Concern is a good thing. When we see someone we love hurting, we should be concerned. When we face a life-threatening illness, we should be concerned. Concern comes as we acknowledge, “Yes, this is something worthy of my heart’s attention.”
- Concern should naturally lead to action on our part - doing something in response to the problem. We move from concern to worry when we begin to simply dwell on the problem for the sake of dwelling on the problem. It leads to no action, no resolution, no improvement; rather, it leads to uneasiness, dread, and apprehension.
- This leads us to our definition of worry. . .
2. Worry is stewing without doing.
- This definition (taken from Rick Warren) succinctly states what we’ve been talking about. We worry when we obsess on the problem without doing anything about the problem. For whatever reason, we like to take the problem out and examine it again and consider all the bad things that could happen because of that situation.
- How should we respond when we begin to worry? The Scripture points us to a better way, so let’s look at a few of the key passages. . .
FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN WE’RE WORRYING ABOUT OUR KIDS:
1. Why do I like to look at my problem through a magnifying glass?
- I want you to notice the differences between vv. 27-28 and vv. 32-33. Notice how quickly the problem has grown enormously in size. Notice how quickly they’ve moved from considering how big God is to focusing on how big their problem is.
- Worriers often like to boast that they’re “realistic” thinkers. Because they’re focusing on all the possible bad outcomes, they like to paint themselves as being in touch with the real situation. Let’s be very clear this morning: worriers are not “realistic” thinkers; worriers are negative
thinkers. They focus on the negative aspects of the problem to the exclusion of the positive
possibilities and, most importantly, the resources of God.
- Gary Oliver states, “Worry magnifies our problems and then distorts our perspective so we can’t think logically or clearly about them.”
- If you’re a worrier, you need to ask yourself this morning why you so enjoy looking at your problem under a magnifying glass, to the exclusion of what God may be up to.
2. Why am I treating my Heavenly Father like a deadbeat dad?
- This great passage reminds us of the promise of care that our Heavenly Father has made to us.
- We’ve all seen and been appalled by fathers who refused to pay child support that they could afford, but instead chose to let their children live in poverty. “How could a Dad be so heartless toward his children?” we ask.
- Yet as we worry we are saying we think the same way about our Heavenly Dad. We’re saying that we don’t think we can entrust the situation to Him. We’re saying that we don’t think we can place the problem in His hands. We’re saying that we’re not so sure that He’ll come through for us. We’re saying we trust ourselves more than we trust Him. We’re saying we think He might well act like a deadbeat dad and leave us high and dry.
- If you’re going to be honest when you worry, you ought to say to God, “Father, to be straight with you, I’m going to hold onto this problem myself because I don’t trust You with it.” Because that’s exactly what you’re actions say you think about God.
3. Why do I believe that worrying is a constructive parenting skill?
- Matthew 6:27.
- Now I know what some of you all were thinking during point #2. “It’s all well and good, Pastor, for you to talk about trusting God, but let’s face it: sometimes God doesn’t answer my prayers the way I think He should. I have to worry for those situations!”