Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Principles for Stress-Free Living - Principle #3

You are big enough...and you have enough time, too.

The translations of this verse in our present day versions of the Bible seem to vary quite a bit.  The reason is the words used by Christ are measurement terms that may refer to time or size.  The supportive verses which assist with the translations support both interpretations of Jesus’ words.  So, here are two seemingly different interpretations from Matthew 6:27:

And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  (New American Standard Bible)

Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?  (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Let’s take a look at the NASB translation.  It is certainly true that worrying about dying does not help us live longer. It actually takes time off our lives.  Yet, with the internet providing access to all kinds of medical information, people will type in symptoms and seek diagnosis fearing the worst.  So what do they find?  Exactly what they were looking for.  And then the worrying begins as they await their appointment with their physician only to find...well, you know the story; their worry was futile.  Is there any way worry can make you well?  “Absolutely not!”  Jesus says, “Why waste the energy?”

What about the other example of size?  We have a tendency to feel that "If I only had more__________” or “If only I was in _________”, my life would be better.  Francis Schaeffer wrote a book entitled, No Little People & No Little Places.  Most Christians take an honest look at themselves and conclude that their limited talents, energy, and knowledge mean that they don't amount to much. Francis A. Schaeffer says that the biblical emphasis is quite different. With God there are no little people! Each Christian is to be an instrument of God in the place God has placed them. We must remember throughout our lives that in God’s sight there are no little people and no little place.

If our total concern is what we could be if we were not us, how do we discover what we could be if we were us?  The demeaning of our being is an insult to God and His plan.  So what if you were taller, smaller, stronger or longer? (I could not pass the rhyme.J)  Would that really mean you would be “better?”  We can be all God wants us to be as right where we are and as we are in size.

So, today, how about celebrating who you are where you are. See if you don’t find a less stress-filled life.

Scripture to Claim:

I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content--whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.   Philippians 4:11-13

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