There is a new age thinking that is making the rounds today that is causing Christians to think that we are not to “worry” about anything. It is causing those who espouse this doctrine to not take responsibility for things in our lives which God has given us responsibility for. We are seeing this manifests itself into a poorer work ethic among Christians. And they use Scriptures such as Philippians 4:6 back up what they are thinking:
Philippians 4:6 – KJV – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
The word for careful here, means – to be anxious, to be troubled with cares.
It seems that this was then taken to the extreme to mean we should never think about anything, i. e., That God is responsible for us and we do not have to do anything to take care of ourselves – when Philippians 4:6 is not saying that at all. If you look at verse seven which follows this, you’ll see that this verse is not talking about shucking responsibility, it is talking about keeping peace in your life. And what it explains, is that we must pray and supplicate about everything. It is not telling us that we should do nothing – it says we should worry about nothing. Here is the difference: when we worry, it stops us from taking action. When we are concerned with fulfilling our responsibility, it causes us to take action.
Titus 3:8 – KJV – This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Here we have another word that is translated careful. It is not the exact Greek word as Philippians 4:6, but it is translated nearly the same. And it means: to think about, to be anxious. So we can see by this verse, we are definitely supposed to be thinking about some things; especially good works. It not only says that we are supposed to think about them, it says that were supposed to talk about these things constantly. Those of you who say you are preachers, just as Paul told the young preacher Titus that he should constantly affirm these things, this shows that it is God’s will for you to constantly tell your people that they should maintain good works.
Since I do not have the space here to start listing what the Bible considers to be good works, I will let you study that on your own. The book of Proverbs gives us a lot of commands that God expects us to perform. I will give you a favorite Scripture of my father’s, which he quoted to me many times during my formative years:
Proverbs 6:6 – 11 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
I heard on the news a few days ago, the China’s economy just passed America’s economy. All the talking heads on TV were giving their opinions as to why this is happened. So here, I too shall give my opinion. It is my opinion that the work ethic in this country is declining. And sad to say, we are perpetuating that idea in the church.
As Christians, let us work to be an example to the people of what it means to be a hard worker. And in Proverbs 6, it doesn’t say that the ant liked to do that, it just says that he is self-motivated to do the right thing. Let the same be said of us.