It's Against My Religion!

March 12, 2020
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You've likely heard the phrase, "It's against my religion", used as an excuse to avoid unpleasant tasks. You'll also know that religions tend to have forbidden practices. That's true across the branches of Christianity. Can you think of any that apply to you now? Or does it seem that anything goes these days? Of course, that's untrue, if we consider Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, such as these words:

Matthew 6:25a – Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. (NIV)

There it is! Worry is against our religion! Yet, we do worry over our lives. We worry over daily needs. We worry over being accepted. We worry over future security. We worry over potential health risks. We even worry for those who don't worry, who show no concern over their irresponsible ways. Worrying can feel right: Why, if I don't worry, it means that I'm not caring enough!

Interestingly, Jesus did not coddle the worriers in the crowd. Instead, He criticized them, saying, "O you of little faith!" Worry, he said, is for unbelievers; that's why they run after material things — food, clothes, and such. God's children have no reason to worry because their heavenly Father knows their needs and cares for them. God's children are to be occupied with matters related to the kingdom of God: God's presence, power, and kingdom purposes.

Worry is "against our religion" for a good reason. As with any sinful habit, it harms us and accomplishes nothing. It also harms God's reputation. When we worry over temporal matters and chase after them, we convey the message that God isn't sufficient.

What about huge worries like climate change, pandemic, and global catastrophe? Such worries are definitely against our religion! Isn't God bigger than our entire universe? Can God's eternal purposes ever be overruled by human behaviour? Can God be outmaneuvered by political or corporate empires? Can He not sustain our earthly home as long as our presence here fulfills His purposes? Hasn't He got the whole world in His hands?

Jesus essentially claimed that worry-free living is a distinguishing mark of the Christian. Through resolute trust in Him, Christians convey to the world that God is sufficient, no matter what the circumstance.

By now, you might suspect that my thread title is woefully deficient. It is. It tempts us to focus more on what's forbidden than on what's gained in exchange. Our Lord didn't merely prohibit worrying. He pronounced something far better in exchange.

Can you see from the following text what's to be gained? Doesn't our gain make it worth surrendering all our worries?

Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, convict us of our needless worries. Inspire us to repent of our wobbly faith that we may receive Your inestimable peace and become available for Your higher purposes. Amen.


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About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    So true, Diane, but easier said than done.


    What a great message! Thank you, Diane.


    Really needed that reminder. Thanks Diane! God bless you!


    A good reminder for us when the coronavirus dominates the headlines!


    You use some wonderful words. At times, I do have “wobbly” faith. Thank you.


    Dear Diane:
    BRAVO!
    Thanks.


    Thanks, Diane, for this gentle reminder to trust! Why worry when God’s for us who or what can be against us! Blessings.


    This one is for me. I’m going to print it out and keep it handy so I can re-read it whenever I am tempted to worry. Blessings.


    Hello Diane
    Thank you, this was a great devotional especially at a time like we are having.
    God bless and have a great day.


    Dear Diane,
    Thank you for the positive and inspiring reminder of how God wants us to respond to our world. May many blessings come your way.


    My uncle wrote “Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but does not get you anywhere.”
    Your writings give us something to think about.
    (ON)


    Right on with the devotional for today! With all the worries about COVID-19. Thanks for reminding us that He’s got the whole world in his hands.
    We just need to keep washing ours.
    (BC)


    Thanks Diane. A very timely piece as we work our way through a world of fearful people and a fear-induced marketplace. Thanks! A lot of worrying over a disease that has only mildly (for the most part) affected 150 Canadians and killed one elderly woman.
    Blessings.


    Dear Diane,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    As I was reading it, I thought right away that you were the writer without having seen it.
    May the Lord enable you continue to write these wonderful devotionals.
    Blessings.


    Well-thought out, Diane and very well written, in simple, fresh, useful words directly to the heart! What a timely message at a time when fear seems to be stalking the world and social media is exploding with admonitions to worry ourselves to death. Yay for God’s inspiration through you to us, especially for today.


    Hello Diane,
    Great devotional and a definite reminder to us of the peace and comfort that is ours when we present our worries and concerns to our Lord. He is always ready and waiting for us to seek Him and for that we must be ever thankful.
    Blessings for your writings,
    (B.C.)


    Dear Diane – your reflection today is a direct answer to my recent prayers! We often say that something is ‘incredible’, which is actually saying that it is unbelievable, but here is proof that we really can believe that “God answers prayer”. You have ‘made my day’ and so much more!! Praise God and thank Him that there are systems and people around us that enable Him to reach out, even to strangers to give them virtually SPECIFIC answers to SPECIFIC prayers. I am truly grateful and filled with His Joy. Bless you always in all your ways.


    Oh Diane,
    How timely this devotional of yours is!!!!!
    My daughter and I are flying and then embarking on a cruise ship. OH, the fear mongering that has been bombarding us. Well-meaning friends/acquaintances recommending that we cancel! We are choosing to be cautious but not live in fear. It has taken me months (booked it last Sept.) to get the courage to feel ok about it because my husband died unexpectedly while we were away. I must choose to honour God and keep living and not ‘worry’ even about the virus. Even a virus cannot separate us from the love of God. If my ‘time’ is up, I know where I’m destined!
    Thank you again for sharing His Word so clearly! Blessings to you!!


    Reay appropriate in today’s anxiety-filled climate!


    Thank you, Diane, for your devotional. Interestingly, it was included in our Bible study.


    Good morning Diane. This is one of the best, if not the best Daily Devotional I have EVER read.
    I cannot thank you enough for this message. We cannot hear it enough.
    Blessings.


    Hello Diane, not knowing how recently you wrote this devotion, but it couldn’t be more needful than now. The world is in pandemic mode and people are going crazy standing in long lines to get what is not there and fighting. We keep ahead on our special needs so aren’t worried. Do we close down our churches like the Mormon has done all over the world? The Lord is my Savior and Keeper and my responsibility is to pray and be of service where needed. So far, our isolated small city hasn’t been hit beyond the regular flu, and much is being done.
    We must not forget at any time that God is in charge, and we must be in His will. God bless you in all you do.

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