|Volume 17 Number 3 March 2015||
Donald R. Fox
We all worry from time to time. An everyday personal event may trouble us. We can worry about something over which we have no control. Worry is defined in part as, “A state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” A worrywart is defined as, “A person who worries too much or who worries about things that are not important.” Further definition includes, “One who worries excessively and needlessly.” The word worrywart first appeared in 1936, “Based on an old saying that if you worry too much you will grow warts” (Wikipedia).
Christians, who are guided by the Word of God – the Bible, generally will not be worrywarts. We do not excessively and needlessly worry about things over which we have no power. However, there are concerns we cannot handle such as government mismanagement, civil violence, foreign hostiles and general chaos. This type of worry is understood rationally and according to our normal ethical understanding that evil and the like will cause sorrowful anguish because of sinful mankind.
Peace in Christ is the solution to worry and anxiety. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity” (Psalm 37:1 KJV). “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11). “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul” (It Is Well with My Soul).
I stopped at a gas station to pick something up yesterday. I was on the way to an appointment. As I was checking out, a man came in asking to borrow a pair of pliers. The clerk thought the store didn’t have a pair of pliers, though a pair was found. He bought a coke to pour on his car battery to get rid of built-up corrosion (which worked). He looked at me and asked, with a pronounced lisp, “Can you jump me off?” My first thought was, “That will make me late!” I came close to saying “No” because I had to be somewhere, but then several things went through my mind.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I have been in that situation before. This fellow actually had his own jumper cables. I have had to actually borrow the cables as well as get a jump. How could I possibly ignore his request when I would hope that he would not ignore mine if I needed it?
As you have opportunity do good to all men. This was not an inconvenience, but rather an opportunity! Certainly, in the big things we ought to help others, tornadoes, floods, sickness, etc. However, what measures our faith in action very well may be the little things. It seems that I recall something about a cup of water spoken by our Lord.
A priest, a Levite and a Samaritan. I really was busy. I actually had places to be and people to see! I almost followed the steps of the first men in the parable, but I actually thought of the Good Samaritan. Was I going to join those who climb in the pulpit and emphatically condemn the actions of the priest and Levite, but then fail to execute the lessons in my own life? In the end, it took less than a minute to jump him off. I doubt I’ll ever see him again. I did the right thing, but am embarrassed by how close I came to not doing it! While we need to teach the principles and delve into the doctrine, we must never forget that those things only matter when we live our lives applying them as practical Christianity.