Catholic Atheist Week 3: We say we believe in God, but we worry
In this Lenten series, we’re looking at the disconnect between the faith we profess, and our words and actions; sometimes we betray our faith, and we speak or act like atheists. Today we will talk about worry, which we recently dedicated an entire series talking about – our January series entitled “Greater Than.” You can find that on my blog on the church website, and in my weekend video message on our church Facebook page. Jesus says in a few places in the Bible not to worry. Worry (apart from the disorder of anxiety) is something we all have, and it is a lack of trust in God. We may have various worries about ourselves, depending on our circumstances; or we may worry about others. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Worry can be a signal to us that we are not really connected to Jesus or abiding in him as much as we could be. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. A yoke is something that connects animals together, so that that they could work more efficiently; it could also mean “yoking” to Jesus’ teaching and his way of viewing the world. Jesus is humble of heart: when we worry, there is often a hidden pride in our hearts, but yoking to Jesus’ teachings involves a humble trust in him. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Jesus never promises that our problems are going away, but in Christ, we can have an inner rest and peace, even as we face our daily problems and concerns. What are we currently worried about? One suggestion is to name one specific worry we have right now, for example finances, and then to seek out what Jesus’ specific advice is about that worry. Questions for Small Groups:
When other people worry, what is your usual reaction to them? Do you usually get annoyed, console them, ignore them or have another response? What advice would you give to someone to stop worrying?
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you worry? What are your top three worries? What circumstances or information compel you to worry?
Read aloud Matthew 11:28-30. Worry is a signal we are not abiding or living connected to Jesus. Do you agree? Why or why not?
What would it mean for you to come to Jesus when you experience worry?
In the areas where you worry, what teachings of Jesus could you learn more about, so that the burden of worrying is lightened?