Thursday, September 8, 2005

Worrying

Bible Talk notes on Matthew 6:26-34

Worrying

So... anybody has assignments and papers to hand in? Anybody has finals coming?

Is anybody stressing about that? Personally, I'm a perfectionist, and I tend to stress a lot about my schoolwork.
And there are a lot of stress and worries we live: will we graduate on time? What about my career? Can I afford that cool iPod? And the list goes on and on...

Today, I want to share with you something that has changed my life, worrywise.

I'll just start by putting some context here: this passage is part of what is called the sermon on the mount, where Jesus is talking to its disciples about what a life of faith should look like.

Matthew 6:25
What kind of fundamental worries does Jesus talk about here?
Does anybody remember the pyramid of needs we learnt in high school?
Self-fulfillment: Education, contribution to the world
Esteem: need for respect of self and others
Love: need of socialization, belonging and recognition
Safety: physical and emotional feeling of protection
Physiological: eating, sleeping, hygiene
From this basic model, there is one thing to keep in mind: if the physiological needs are not met, the rest will not necessarly stand. Doing a final without sleeping, without eating will be a lot harder.
Jesus was saying what psychologists rediscovered many centuries later: there is more than physiological needs, but still acknowledges that they are important.
verses 26-27
Jesus is reminding us of birds, and how God feeds them.
And then, he talks about how much stressing won't help us live longer. What are the effects of stress in your life?
[WebMD has a page about chronic stress. It talks about depression, cardiovascular problems, asthma, memory loss, etc. In short, stress is more likely to shorten your lifespan than to extend it. Jesus knew, well before doctors realized it, how dangerous stress was.]
verses 28-31
As an historical reference, King Solomon was the richest king in Israel's history, and was one of the richest rulers of the middle east in his time. This is what Jesus is refering to when he mentions Solomon.
What would be, in your words, the comparison between Solomon and the lillies?
[God made the flowers more beautiful than anything we can build for ourselves, and they are so little overall. God is demonstrating by that how well He can take care of us ]
verses 32-34
Jesus is basically saying to trust God that He is gonna take care about everything. Did something like that ever happened to you?
[Sharing about getting the internship at MobiLuck]
What are the two solutions that Jesus is proposing about dealing with worry?
[Seek God's kingdom and take it a day at a time]
Concretely, what does it mean to seek God's kingdom?
Finally, how can we practically take it a day at a time?
Conclusion
I hope that you will leave this talk feeling that the Bible has deep knowledge about our human nature, and has practical advice on how to live our lives better.
I also hope that you will be curious to find out more about it, not only to know more about it, but to also live it practically.

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