Recovering anxiety.

Anxious: “wanting something very much, typically with a feeling of unease.” Synonyms: eager, keen, desirous, impatient, itching, longing, yearning, aching, dying “she was anxious for news of him”

I was teaching this morning from 1 Corinthians 7. It occurred to me that as Paul was contrasting the anxiety of the married vs. the unmarried, that most all of the anxiety we experience finds its source in this world via money, relationships, stuff. What if we lived our life “being anxious” about the things of God? I don’t know that I have ever experienced one anxious moment feeling concern over my private devotion or public witness for Christ. Most, if not all, of my anxiety is reserved for temporal things of earth and time. It occurred to me that anxiety is a function of priority or lack of priority in relation to objects of my true devotion. By that measure the Lord isn’t the priority He should be in my life. Convicted.

Of course, within the context, Paul was communicating to a culture living under threat of persecution and pressure from a culture that did not acknowledge Christ as Lord. In such a context Paul argued it was “better” to be single as he is, although it wasn’t a command. The pressure and persecution we face is significantly different in America, but yet the result is the same, fear, apathy, cultural accommodation, and conflation. Instead if we were truly “anxious” according to the definition above, and not with the negative connotation that we usually attach to it, that becoming “anxious” eager, longing, yearning for the things of God would radically transform all of our relationships to one another, and change our relationship to money, position, status, and power in this present world.

May we live lives of purposeful anxiety for the cause of Christ and for the passionate pursuit of His glory.

“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-35