I have a confession to make: I am a worrier. I’ve heard it said before that worry is one of those “respectable sins.” You know, sins like adultery or murder are seen as heinous, while other sins, such as gluttony or worry, tend to be overlooked or are viewed as the not-so-bad brand of sin. We often justify ourselves because we’re only human, after all. We’ll say something like, “That’s just my personality,” or “That’s just how God made me,” instead of taking responsibility and calling it what it is – SIN. Ouch.
One of the elder’s wives at my church is currently leading a four-week self-examination study during our Wednesday night gathering. She has been emphasizing the need for undeniable, honest, and authentic change in our lives. The more I know God and the more I learn of His character, the more it should spur me on to change. True change. Change that causes me to think and live differently. We can say all day long that we trust in God’s sovereignty or that we know He has a good plan for His children, but if we don’t live like we believe it, what’s the point? As far back as I can remember people have presented similar ideas, using catchy statements such as, “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?” But in all the times I’ve heard this truth, it has never affected me quite like it did in that moment during our Wednesday night study. God used her words to impact me in a fresh, new way, as if I were hearing this idea for the very first time. (Isn’t it awesome how God does that?) I want to not only believe that God’s plan for me is good, but I want to wholly live it out in every respect; I want my life to reflect the attributes of God that I know to be true from His Word, no matter what circumstances I may face.
A friend and I were recently discussing how we tend to worry and complain, even though we see God’s goodness and love in so many aspects of our lives. “We’re just like Israel, aren’t we?” I asked her. So many times I have wondered how the Israelites could so quickly forget what God did for them (See all of Genesis and Exodus, plus much more!), and here I am doing the same thing. God is faithful! God is loving! God is merciful! I’ve seen evidences of His goodness over and over again in my life, but I continue to worry about the future and to question His goodness. Will I ever learn? Will I ever get to the point where I can honestly say that I am completely content in His plan for my life and that I don’t feel the need to be in control? When will the things I know to be true about God impact me to the point of a permanent change when it comes to worrying (and many other areas of my life, for that matter)? Boy, am I grateful for His kindness and patience towards me!
The more God grows me up in His Word, the more clearly I see my depraved state before Him. Even my best intentions are marred by my sin. Does this make me wallow in sadness and self-pity? No way! It makes me all the more thankful for Jesus Christ! God’s grace is sufficient, and I can trust that He is gripping me tightly and won’t let me go — not because of my poor attempts at being a non-worrier, but because of Christ’s atoning blood. I strive to live a holy life that is pleasing to God, but I know that I’ll fail, and I’m thankful that He sees my sinful state and loves me anyways. I serve a great God — the more I know about Him, the greater He becomes to me and, in return, the lesser I become to myself. Praise God!