Summary: What worry does to us and what God says we can do about it.
The Hidden Sin of Worry
Sunday, May 28th, 2006
Spring looks like it may finally be here and that means that we’re getting into wedding season. We have a couple of weddings happening soon in our church family, Kevin and Kelly and Kurt and Sarah will all be taking that step towards the rest of their lives together. I have the privilege of performing a wedding for one of my teens and I’ll be involved in two others. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to be in or perform many weddings, and for the most part, they’re a lot of fun and it’s a great day for everyone. There is one wedding, besides my own, that really sticks out in my mind. My cousin was married shortly after Erin and I were married and he asked me to be a groomsman. The reason this wedding stands out in my mind is the conversation that we had the night before his big day. I remember sitting with him on the eve of his wedding and having a few moments to ourselves. I asked how he was doing, he was looking a little pale, which under the circumstances, was not unusual. He said fine, and then after a brief pause, he began to unload. What if this happens, what if I forget what I’m supposed to say, what if the singers forget the words, what if she doesn’t like my vows, what if my tux isn’t right, what if I faint, what if…and on and on he went. He was picturing in his mind all of the possibilities of what could go wrong on the biggest day of his life. In my mind I’m thinking that he should just be content that he convinced someone to love him, but being the wise and compassionate older cousin that I was, I told him that he needed to focus on one thing. He had a wonderful woman who had agreed to spend the rest of her life with him and even if everything that could go wrong did, at the end of the day, they would be husband and wife, and that was all that mattered.
He finally calmed down to the point where he could function and the next day went perfectly smooth, not a single bump in the road. All of the anxiety, all of the fears had been for nothing.
How often is that the case in our lives? This morning we are going to be looking at an area that affects each and every one of us. Worry. Most of us are pretty good at this. We worry about people, money, jobs, and possessions…Constantly asking what if?...
To worry is to dwell on a past or future event over which you have little or no control and to allow feelings of uneasiness and uncertainty to affect other areas of your life.
It’s when we focus our thoughts and attention on something that has not even happened, and that probably won’t even happen. Yet, it consumes our minds and keeps us from living the kind of life that God calls us to in our relationship with Him through Jesus. Worry can rob a believer of their joy.
In the parable of the sower that’s found in Mark chapter 4, Jesus is telling the story of a farmer who went out to plant some seeds. The seeds fell in many different places and that affected whether or not it grew and produced a crop. One of the places that the seeds fell was among thorns and listen to what Jesus said happened to that seed.
18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Jesus likens our worries to thorns that attack something good and healthy and choke the life right out of it. In fact, the word that we get our word worry from, in the old English, meant to strangle, or to choke. And that’s what worry can do in our lives. Worry will have an effect on every area of our lives and when it comes to your relationship with God, worry keeps us from being fruitful in our walk. It distracts and detracts from the work that God wants to do in us and it can keep us from the work that He wants to do through us.
Jesus now, turns his attention to this issue and he lets the listener know in no uncertain terms that worry is not only futile, it’s wrong, and it’s a sin in the life of a Christian. It’s an issue that can be easy to hide, for most, it’s a hidden sin, but for everyone sitting within the sound of my voice, worry has played some role in your life.