Main

Fear Archives

October 14, 2010

What, Me Worry?

Luke 12:11-12; 22-23 (NKJV)
“Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.

OBSERVATION
As a historian, Luke seeks to accurately account for the events he is reporting. Since it is not a real-time diary, there is a license that allows him to reflect the events, but also to possibly group them in a context that is subject oriented as well as chronological. I'm not sure how or why these two exhortations from Jesus found themselves in the same chapter. I can only say that in reading these passages my whole life, I never connected the dots that Luke placed them almost right next to each other (only separated by a parable about how life is not guaranteed).

APPLICATION
These two comments by Jesus - "Do not worry..." have to do with the two biggest concerns of our lives: how we're thought of by others and how we think about our lives. We all want to be liked, accepted, respected. In order to give myself the greatest chance for success in this area is to conform to what is expected of me. But when I'm unclear of what the expectation, then I worry. Even harder is when I know what the expectation is and its a conflict with my personal values. As I'm thinking about this I sense these thoughts: First, God uniquely designed me to be me. The greatest witness that I can be for Him is to completely be me. It's not about pretending to be or defending anything. Second, the Holy Spirit will teach me. If I'm more conscious to Him (which requires me to be less self-conscious), He'll teach me how to respond, when to initiate, when to lay back, when to assert myself and when to yield. In this way it becomes less about me and more about others.

Only when I develop the discipline to be less "self-conscious" am I free to learn contentment. We live in a world that screams "more, More, MORE!" This only creates the question, when is enough enough? When I learn contentment, I'm free from the burden of comparison; What does it matter what someone else has? What does it matter what someone else is doing? Why am I worried about any of this...is it really that important? Then in v 31 Jesus says, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you." He's not talking about "things" (ie material goods). He talking about the gaps in my life being filled. When the right things get my attention, then my life is filled.

PRAYER
Lord, I know life is more that "stuff." I know my worth is not determined by the opinion of people. Help me not to be so concerned, even consumed by these things. Teach me Holy Spirit what to do, what to say, how to be. Help me to value what is truly significant.

"More" Self-Conscious

Luke 12:11-12, 22-23(NKJV)
“Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
...
22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.

OBSERVATION
As a historian, Luke seeks to accurately account for the events he is reporting. Since it is not a real-time diary, there is a license that allows him to reflect the events, but also to possibly group them in a context that is subject oriented as well as chronological. I'm not sure how or why these two exhortations from Jesus found themselves in the same chapter. I can only say that in reading these passages my whole life, I never connected the dots that Luke placed them almost right next to each other (only separated by a parable about how life is not guaranteed).

APPLICATION
These two comments by Jesus - "Do not worry..." have to do with the two biggest concerns of our lives: how we're thought of by others and how we think about our lives. We all want to be liked, accepted, respected. In order to give myself the greatest chance for success in this area is to conform to what is expected of me. But when I'm unclear of what the expectation, then I worry. Even harder is when I know what the expectation is and its a conflict with my personal values. As I'm thinking about this I sense these thoughts: First, God uniquely designed me to be me. The greatest witness that I can be for Him is to completely be me. It's not about pretending to be or defending anything. Second, the Holy Spirit will teach me. If I'm more conscious to Him (which requires me to be less self-conscious), He'll teach me how to respond, when to initiate, when to lay back, when to assert myself and when to yield. In this way it becomes less about me and more about others.

Only when I develop the discipline to be less "self-conscious" am I free to learn contentment. We live in a world that screams "more, More, MORE!" This only creates the question, when is enough enough? When I learn contentment, I'm free from the burden of comparison; What does it matter what someone else has? What does it matter what someone else is doing? Why am I worried about any of this...is it really that important? Then in v 31 Jesus says, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you." He's not talking about "things" (ie material goods). He talking about the gaps in my life being filled. When the right things get my attention, then my life is filled.

PRAYER
Lord, I know life is more that "stuff." I know my worth is not determined by the opinion of people. Help me not to be so concerned, even consumed by these things. Teach me Holy Spirit what to do, what to say, how to be. Help me to value what is truly significant.

February 2, 2011

The Wide Place

Psalm 31:8 (NKJV)
...You have set my feet in a wide place.
...
(The Message)
I'm leaping and singing in the circle of your love;
you saw my pain,
you disarmed my tormentors,
You didn't leave me in their clutches
but gave me room to breathe.

OBSERVATION
I don't know what the circumstance were that prompted the writing of this Psalm. Commentators say that this could have been written by David or by the prophet Jeremiah. Sometimes a phrase just catches your attention, and that is what happened to me here.

APPLICATION
I love the way Eugene Peterson expresses the last part of v8: that God "gave me room to breathe." Sometimes life presses in in such a way that it's hard to catch your breath, like a prisoner to my circumstances, trapped and feeling claustrophobic. Not only will God deliver me, but as the NKJV says it, He "sets my feet in a wide place." One of the things I like to do is to find an open spot overlooking the beach, or a big park filled with trees. I sit and think, and breathe; its one of the ways that I clear my head. It's in the "wide place" that I can sort through my thoughts, address my anxieties, confront my fears, gain perspective, and get "a Word." Whenever life presses in, pressing back doesn't help. I call to Him to set me in a wide place, a safe place, where I can see and hear clearly.

PRAYER
Thank you Lord for the wide places.

About Fear

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Fear category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disappointment is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33