Saturday, March 29, 2014

I am not Anxious, Just Concerned.

Tom's Journal.

*** AUDIO BIBLE *** For those who don’t have a Bible or prefer to listen to scripture - The first link is the New King James Version (theatrical - click the Bib...le Index tab at bottom for Old/New Testament selections); the second link is the New International Version via BibleGateway, with other available versions as per selection >>>>
See More

This comment was sent to me by my friend, and brother in arms,  Jerry Busby, from NH.   He thinks that I worry too much, and indeed, I do !  I believe that there has got to be a "proper balance" in our thinking, and prayers.   The ONLY way to gain the correct understanding, is to STUDY THE BIBLE !!   And then,  "Iron sharpens Iron..."  ~ Proverbs 27: 17,  is what real Christian friends do for each other.  We sharpen each other, like an Arkansas black stone does to a quality   knife ~!!

Warm Regards,
Tom Schuckman 

I thought you might like reading this, not to say you worry but as myself I find myself getting upset at the way things are going with our country and those so called leaders.  This or I should say God's Word always helps me!  Congrads on your new wheels !  Oh and helmet, I read on FB....  Share this with Terri also it might help with you ridding off into the sunset !  more to come in another email    Wow that's better, I had everything blue the first time I tried this.....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rooted Thinking <>
Date: Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 6:39 AM
Subject: [New post] Revisiting Worry: “I’m Not Anxious, Just Concerned.”

Layton Talbert posted: "People are prone to worry. Life is loaded with imponderables. We are vulnerable. The future is unpredictable. When reminded that we are to “be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 1:6), we can hide behind semantics. (“I’m not worried; I’m just concerned. That’s di"

New post on Rooted Thinking

Revisiting Worry: “I’m Not Anxious, Just Concerned.”

by Layton Talbert
People are prone to worry. Life is loaded with imponderables. We are vulnerable. The future is unpredictable. When reminded that we are to “be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 1:6), we can hide behind semantics. (“I’m not worried; I’m just concerned. That’s different.”) But when are “concerns” justified, and when is it plain old “worry”? Is there a valid difference? Interestingly, the New Testament uses exactly the same Greek word to denote both forbidden anxiety and legitimate concern.
The New Testament employs this word family a total of 27 times. Paul’s use of the term in Philippians provides a good starting point, since its two occurrences there demonstrate how the same word may have either a positive or a negative connotation—how the same concept is, in fact, both commended and condemned.
Paul’s famous prohibition “be careful for nothing” (Phil. 4:6) is advising neither recklessness nor carelessness. It means we are not to be “full of care”—burdened down with anxiety—but about what? The fact that Paul continues by exhorting us instead to “make our requests known to God” furnishes a clue; the rest of the context confirms that clue. Rather than being full of anxious care over our needs, we are to make them known to God and maintain a trusting confidence in Him to supply those needs. In other words, anxiety over our own personal needs and desires is prohibited.
What’s odd is that just 35 verses earlier, Paul uses the very same word when he commends Timothy as someone who earnestly cared for the well-being of the Philippian believers (2:20). Paul extols Timothy for the very action and attitude which only moments later he forbids to the Philippians (4:6). Why? Because the object has changed. Concern over the conditions and needs of others is appropriate and commendable.
An examination of the other passages where this word appears bears out this consistent pattern. When the object is a third party—other people’s needs—the action described by this word is commended. But when the object is ourselves and our own needs or circumstances, the same attitude/activity is prohibited. In other words, legitimate care or concern becomes inappropriate worry and anxiety when it turns inward and focuses on us.
Another classic passage that illustrates some of the specifics believers are forbidden to “worry” about is Matthew 6:25-34. The term actually occurs six times in these ten verses; and the connotation of worry here is consistently negative because the objects are consistently self-centered: our food, our drink, our clothing, and our future. Jesus is not just addressing our attitude regarding the quality of our fare or our apparel; He is addressing our attitude toward whether or not we will even have anything adequate to eat or drink or wear in the first place. This kind of worry is to be expected from the heathen. Why? Because they are orphans; they have no “heavenly Father” on whose provision and protection they can rely. But Christians do. Worry and anxiety about our own needs is not only pointless and unproductive (Mt. 6:27); it nullifies what should be one of the most distinctive traits of the child of God—implicit trust and confidence in a loving, knowing, and able heavenly Father.
Other passages add to the list of the kinds of things over which Christians are not to fret. Christ cites the distractions of life and cares of this world as things which lead men astray from right priorities and proper concerns (Mk. 4:19; Lk. 8:14; 21:34). The disciples were even forbidden to worry about what they would say in their own defense in the context of persecution (Mt. 10:19; Lk. 12:11). Christ gently chided Martha (Lk. 10:41) for her anxious distraction over her own chores and duties—even when the aim of those tasks was to entertain the Lord Himself! She complained that she was laboring all alone and that Mary was not helping her (see Lk. 10:40). Surely this has a striking application to the frame of mind with which we approach even our service to the Lord. All the passages that censure worry share at least this one common thread: they all address issues which ultimately and essentially focus on us, our circumstances, our perceived needs. What affects us directly is not to be the object of our fretting worry or anxiety. Instead, we are to commit all such personal concerns and circumstances to God and rest in the knowledge of His goodness and care.
So what are areas of legitimate “concern”? Again, the common thread running through the passages where the same Greek word (merimna) is commended is this: they are all areas that stand outside of ourselves and revolve instead around others and their needs. The unmarried “care” for the things of the Lord and are free to focus their attention on serving the Lord undistractedly, while a married person must, by nature and command, “care” for the needs and pleasure of the spouse (1 Cor. 7:32-34). Paul’s own concern (“care”) for the welfare of all the churches was a perpetual part of the burden of his ministry (2 Cor. 11:28). Similarly, he solemnly charges all Christians to cultivate this kind of mutual caring concern for one another (1 Cor. 12:25).
In short, instead of a self-centered anxiety that expends time and energy (and demonstrates a lack of personal trust in God) worrying over one’s personal needs for which God has already promised provision, the members of the body of Christ should cultivate an others-oriented care focused on knowing and ministering to the needs of those around us. That is the New Testament distinction between “worry” and “concern.” Caring concern is commended because it is focused on others and how we can minister to their needs. Personal anxiety is prohibited because it focuses on ourselves and fails to rest in God’s promises to meet our needs.
Worrying about our own needs and circumstances betrays a lack of faith in our Father’s ability and willingness to care for us and contradicts the whole message of Christianity. At the same time, the Holy Spirit’s use of the same word to exhort Christians to turn the focus of their concern outward in the form of care for others that seeks to discover and minister to their needs becomes one of the most practical demonstrations of what Jesus said would be the identifying mark of His people—mutual love (Jn. 13:34-35).
The remedy for forbidden worry is two-fold and tucked into the very context of the key passages prohibiting the negative aspect of worry: (1) prayer (Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:7), which releases our personal anxieties over to our Father and trusts Him to take care of them in our behalf; and (2) realigned priorities (Mt. 6:33), which focuses our thoughts and energies on doing God’s will, seeking the extension of His kingdom, and fulfilling our obligations to Him as well as to those around us.

No comments: