Christ

Worry and Peace Cannot CoExist.

Neuroscientists have discovered an interesting phenomenon about the human brain; it is like an on and off switch ("Words can change your brain” Andrew Newberg M.D.Mark Robert Waldman Page 18), it cannot focus on both a positive and negative feeling at the same time. This was huge discovery, as a result they also discovered that the brain will always pick the negative before the positive as an unconscious survival mechanism. Our brains are alway trying to help us avoid pain, as a result it will focus on the problem rather than on the solution as a way to change it and protect against the pain of the problem. However, it truly works in reverse.

We all know the famous verse in Proverbs 23:7, “For as a man thinketh within so he is." This quite simply means the more I worry about things, people and situations the more anxious I become, and the more my mind finds issues to worry about. Instead of focusing on the “What is”, it now begins to focus on the “What if”.  

What does this mean? Let's first go to the book of Matthew. 

Matthew 6:25-34, in relation to worry and anxiety:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The “What is” in this passage is all that God does and will do, the “What if” becomes the striving and worrying about tomorrow. 

Here is that same passage from the MSG Bible: 

Matthew 6:25-34 (MSG)

25-26  “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

27-29  “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33  “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34  “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Let us focus on what is...because we desire the peace that passes all understanding and not the worry that keeps us from what God has for us and has taken care of on the cross. 

Blessings! And hear the full show "I Am With You Always" on our Radio Page. 

 

Forgiveness: Part 2 It's Too Risky Not To

We know from science and Biblical law that the unforgiveness of others will develop into cancer and poisonous applications both literally and figuratively. Forgoing the forgiveness of others is a form of torture where we are lamenting and perhaps recreating offenses over and over instead of healing and moving forward mentally and spiritually. It is an extremely unhealthy preoccupation. It says in Matthew 18:23-25 that you (the one who does not forgive) will be turned to the torturers! Not only are we torturing ourselves but we will be turned thrown to them either way. Do we want to endure this cycle for our own pride? Our own sense of entitlement to lord over others? For our own pleasure? Is it really worth it? Is it working? Are you healing? 

Again, with the risk being so high physically, spiritually, and mentally is it worth the constant replay? Is begrudging someone feel like a win? Instead of the anguish, let us forgive as we have been forgiven and avoid the reality unforgiveness can cause. 

How do we then forgive? It is not always easy and perhaps we do not "want" to, but we must. WE simply must. It really can be done in 3 steps: 

1. We make the choice. We choose to forgive as we have been forgiven. If the "feeling" doesn't come, choose anyway. God promises to heal you and your heart. 

2. We depend on God to help us do it. He is always listening to our cries for help. 

3. We obey the Bible. 

Do this and you will be well. Do this and you will have peace. Listen to the show for more on this issue and a more in depth discussion.

 

Forgiveness: Part 1 Are you Paco?

Here is an excerpt from a blog written by Duane Vander Klok for Walking by Faith

Ernest Hemingway’s short story about the broken relationship between a

Spanish father and his teenage son, Paco, highlights this desire.

Paco ran away from his home to Madrid, and his grieving father looked

everywhere for him. In desperation, the father placed an ad in the Madrid

newspaper that read,

“Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office tomorrow at noon. All is

forgiven. I love you.”

The next morning, 800 hopeful men named Paco were standing in front of the

newspaper office!

Are you Paco? Are you in desperate need of forgiveness? Does your heart ache for the relief? This process, a gift given to us ultimately through Christ, is a beautiful perfect gift that not only benefits the recipient but the person granting the forgiveness in a multitude of ways. 

But before we confirm whether or not you are Paco, let's get straight to the point: have you forgiven yourself through Christ who grants it to you freely without score? Without score, without holding onto hurt, and with your focus on letting go have you forgiven yourself? Do you have a willingness to forgive yourself to gain a long lasting internal peace. Is this you? Have you truly forgotten to forgive yourself? Paco's father may forgive him, but he must forgive himself in order to gain. 

Harboring unforgiveness in your heart weighs you down and takes up a large amount of precious real estate of your mental and emotional state. Your mental health, social health, emotional health, physical health all rely on your ability to forgive yourself. Christ has already forgiven you, its your turn.