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Is There a Right Kind of Worry?

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WorryFor the most part, worry is wrong. Jesus teaches this during His sermon on the mount. Listen to His words when He says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Mt 6.25ff)

Jesus plainly shows us that it is wrong to have great anxiety over material things such as what we will eat or wear. Worry about the mundane things of this earth is useless because it changes nothing and worry is faithless because it reflects a lack of confidence that God can and will take care of us.

 

With that being said, is there ever a healthy kind of worry? Yes, actually there is, although we might choose to use words like concern or care in place of worry. Take a look at what the apostle Paul says, “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.” (Phil 2.19-20)
Both Paul and Timothy are greatly concerned, even worried, about their brethren in Philippi. They were evidently facing some adversity that tested their Christian conduct (Phil 2.27-30) which could damage them spiritually. Paul was determined to send Timothy to help them due to Timothy’s deep love and sincere care for the Philippians. I believe we can say that both of these men were vitally concerned, or even worried, about the spiritual welfare of their fellow Christians.

 

This is not the only time Paul would feel great anxiety in his heart concerning all of the churches, to the Corinthians he said, “And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.” (2 Cor 11.28)
Paul was not worried about how many times he would be put in jail, beaten, or shipwrecked, these are all worldly things. What concerned him was humbleness, teaching Christ, and standing up against false teaching. He felt great concern, anxiety, and yes worry, for God’s children who faced the kind of adversity that could weaken the spirit and their bond with God.

 

So we ought to try to conquer our fretfulness over the mundane, temporal matters of our earthly life, while realizing that there is a legitimate place for true concern and care for the spiritual welfare of others.



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Are We Men of Honor?

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MedalOfHonorHonor is honesty, fairness, and integrity.

Honor is having a high respect for someone because we see their worth.

Honor goes hand in hand with ‘glory’ when we talk about the glory of God (Mt 6.13, 16.27, 19.28, Heb 2.7). 

And…

Honor is greatly lacking within our culture, nor is it taught to our young men enough.

                Perhaps you have seen the movie The Last Samurai, where Tom Cruise plays Captain Woodrow Algrin, a celebrated Civil War hero. Due to the atrocities of war he has both witnessed and participated in, Algrin is obliged to drink himself into an endless stupor in an attempt to forget war’s horrors. Interestingly, the Japanese government hires Algrin to teach modern warfare to His Majesty’s poorly equipped army, where he is captured in their first battle by the last band of remaining Samurai warriors.

                The word samurai literally means “ones who serve”, and they follow a strict code of ethics called bushido or “the way of the warrior.” The life of the samurai was one of physical hardship, absolute devotion to duty, and above else, honesty and bravery in all things.

                Algrin is enamored with the samurai lifestyle and it’s unique code of conduct. After a winter living with the samurai where he sobers up and faces his demons, Captain Algrin joins these last remaining noble men in their honorable cause. One scene in particular sums up his belief in the importance of the samurai code. The leader of these brave men, seeing that defeat was imminent, considers taking his own life rather than suffer the shame defeat would bring.

                “Shame?”, Algrin says, “Shame for a life of service, discipline, compassion?”

                “The way of the samurai is not necessary anymore.”

                To which the captain responds, “Necessary? What could be more necessary?”

                Although this is simply a movie, there is truth in that statement. Consider that the very life of Christ was filled to overflowing with service both to God and to men. He taught the importance of self-control and self-denial when it comes to our lusts, while encouraging us to be steadfast and constant toward God. Additionally, can you find any greater example of compassion than that of Christ? Our creator came to earth as a man and offered His life, taken in the cruelest way possible, in order to redeem each and every one of us; and to give us the hope and surety of eternal life with Him.

Necessary? What could be more necessary? 

                Jesus was the living definition of honor. I want my son to be an honorable man. I want him to stand strong against the evils of the world and be prepared to weather the storms of adversity. I wish for him to cherish, protect, and value women and children. To stand with God while the world ridicules and abandons Him.

How about you? What do you want people to see or to think when your son’s name is spoken?

What are you willing to sacrifice in order to teach him that?

Hurt People Can Hurt People

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CryingWhen I was a teenager, I had a dog that was hit by a car. His hip was broken in the accident. Obviously, he was in a lot of pain. So when I picked him up to take him to the vet, do you know what he did? He bit me! I was only trying to be kind and help, but he bit me.

Same song, second verse…

Have you ever tried to reach out to someone who was obviously in pain in an effort to help them? When you have done so, have you ever been “bitten” by those you were trying to help? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you have. You see, I’ve come to realize that hurt people can hurt people.

 So here are two challenges we face in times of great stress in our life:

1)      Don’t let your fear of being “bitten” keep you from doing good for others. Seldom does doing good and helping another come without some cost. The gift of God’s grace for doing the right thing far outweighs the emotional or financial sting a hurting soul can dish out.

2)      When you are hurting, and someone reaches out with an offer of help, resist the urge to “bite”. Do not be afraid to graciously accept their help, try to understand that they are seeking your good. Sometimes it is difficult to admit that we need assistance, but we end up doing good ourselves by allowing others to serve God in helping their fellow man (even if it is us).

Consider this, being a Christian is much more than having the right answers to biblical questions. It’s also making oneself available to be used by Jesus to reach out to a hurting world with a healing message. Let’s be sure we share the love of Christ with our words and show His love through our deeds.

 

“By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13.35).