When I watch a movie, I’m intrigued by how the story unfolds, how the writer has pulled the threads of the plot together to get to a satisfactory—and sometimes unsatisfactory—ending. Of lesser importance to me are the specifics surrounding the actors’ ability to nuance the characters in the movie. Perhaps of least importance to me is the technique behind the camera shots or the way in which the director chooses to film the action in the movie.
However, my husband is not that interested in the “story” of the movie. Instead, he pays more attention to how realistically an actor portrays his character, and whether he or she is good at the craft of acting. He can also get excited about how a movie is filmed, noting things like the director’s love of close-ups or tall buildings.
I believe these two different methods of watching a movie reflect how we relate to other people. For example, take what happens when my husband and I meet a new couple. I immediately start asking questions about their background, their family, their “story.” On the other hand, he is much more interested in asking questions that reveal the couple’s emotions, feelings, and opinions.
Not surprisingly, our personality differences affect how we worship God, how comfortable we are with a certain style of worship, and how we enter into a worship service or respond to the pastor’s sermon. I believe Jesus seeks to encompass all kinds of worshipers with his words from John 4:24: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
How does your spirit worship God?
In order to spend more time on other writing and editing projects, I’ve had to be absent from my blog for a few months. However, yesterday, after being convicted about my tendency to worry, I decided to take the time and share a few reflections about God’s command to live a worry-free life.
It’s true. God instructs his followers to be free from worry and anxiety. Jesus said in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life.” Even though it’s worded a little differently each time, this command appears in all of the gospels. “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27.
Paul also teaches the worry-free life in his letters. “Do not be anxious about anything . . .” Philippians 4:6. The command itself is pretty clear, and, unlike some commands in Scripture, how to deal with worry is equally straightforward. Paul continues in Philippians 4:7, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Not surprisingly, Peter echoes Paul’s solution to worry in 1 Peter 5:6-7: “Humble yourselves . . . casting all your anxieties upon him, for he cares for you.” The writer of Hebrews says we can be sure of his help when we are troubled. He writes, “So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear . . .” Hebrews 13:6.
By bringing our worries and cares to the Lord, we are rewarded with the strength and peace to deal with life’s inevitable anxieties. And, because God is always overflowing in his care for us, He promises to do this for us anew every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning . . .”