Monday, November 11, 2013

Stop paying attention!

Yesterday, I (Jeff) had the opportunity to preach at church.  In brief, the passage was             1 Peter 5:6 and 7.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." (ESV)*

One of my points was that we can humble ourselves before God by casting our cares and anxieties on him...trusting him.  On the flip side, I can diagnose pride in my life based on my level of anxiety and worry (or my pursuit to control things...not trusting him).

So, about 20 minutes ago, Andrew finds me staring off into space and starts a conversation:

Andrew: "How are you doing?"

Jeff: "I am irritated about ______ and am trying to think of solutions."  (Andrew knows the details of what goes in the blank)

Andrew: "Have you prayed about it?  Have you humbled yourself before God and given it over to him, or are you just worrying about it and being proud?"

Jeff: "Yes, I have and thank you for the reminder."  But I was thinking: "Stop paying attention to my sermons on Sunday and then keeping me accountable on Monday!"

*Side note for the scholars out there (I don't include myself in that category).  I chose the ESV above (the English Superior Version as my friend, Curtis Hill, jokingly calls it) because it is more accurate than the NIV that I tend to read.  If you are like me you have often seen a period between verses 6 and 7 because it is easier to read.  Verse 7 then reads like this: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."  The point of such a sentence is obvious...we cast our anxiety on him because he cares about us.  But this is not the original Greek grammar.  It is more awkward to read with a comma because then there are 2 subordinate clauses (maybe 3...a grammar expert, I am not), but this is closer to the original Greek.  So, if you now read it with a comma, like the ESV, we see that we humble ourselves by casting our anxieties on him, and we do all of that because he cares for us.  So, there is the connection that Andrew was making for me..."Papa, are you humbling yourself by giving your worry over to God and trusting him, or are you being proud?"