Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Luke 12:22-23 and 29-31 where Jesus says,
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes…. And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”


Even though we are living in a time of abundance beyond any previous era in history, worry and anxiety have become the most common maladies of the 21st century. I recently read an article which pointed out that millennials are the most anxious generation ever in the United States. That may be true, but I think that everyone is more on edge today, and I find it remarkable. Our grandparents and parents grow up in times of poverty, war, and strife, but they were able to adjust to it. They even respond to it with a sense of purpose, courage, and perseverance in the face of real dangers. What has changed?
The article that I read (a fairly typical article out there on the web) is titled, “Why Is Anxiety So Common Among Twentysomethings?” It cited things like “use of social media,” “unstable work and finances,” and “experiences of failure” as causes for growing anxiety among the young. Similar articles claim that these pressures are causing anxiety in other age groups as well. Fair enough. Social pressures, job pressures, cultural pressures, and personal challenges can all lead to increased anxiety and worry. But are these things really “different” today? I’m sure that modern society has created its own unique stressors so I’m not saying that today’s struggles are exactly the same as those in the past. But, at their core, I don’t think that our modern challenges are radically different either. People have always experienced times of extreme loneliness, societal pressure, social dislocation, and fear of the unknown. What’s different today are the solutions that are proffered.
In this article people were encouraged to “build trust in ourselves and connect to our greatest gifts; to get involved in the community, help other people; feel empowered, like you can change the world instead of being a victim of it.” It concludes, “When you put that into action, your anxiety doesn't stand a chance.” Notice the absence of any thought of putting your anxieties into the hands of God. Notice that there is no spiritual dimension for resolving anxieties based on the truth that God really cares about you, that He is concerned about your welfare because He created and redeemed you to be His own. In our reading, Jesus speaks to us straight about whipping worries over the things of this world. “Seek [God’s] kingdom and these things will be added to you” (Luke 12:31). Jesus says, “Do not worry” because your heavenly Father knows that you need “these things,” and He cares for you. Many of our grandparents and parents knew it, and nothing today prevents us from knowing that too. That’s the antidote for anxiety and worry, both then and now, as well as in the midst of whatever the future might bring.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to bring my worries and anxieties to You in prayer, knowing that You already care for me and know what’s best for me. AMEN.

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