Now and then you read a book that meets you with perfect timing. Crazy Love by Francis Chan was that book for me. How to best know that Tyler really likes a book? He does more than one post on it.
I heard Francis speak at the Willow Arts Conference in June. I had 3 highlights: listening to Ross Parsley, listening to Brian McLaren, and listening to Francis Chan. I now listen to Chan’s messages on podcast as often as I can. He is an incredible speaker. I have one reason that I think Chan has credibility. His church gives 55% of their total budget to social causes around the world and in their community of Simi Valley, California. Telling you this isn’t meant to make him sound like the perfect pastor. I just love that God has used him to grow a church and yet as they’ve grown they have given more and more money away.
Now for the stuff Chan talks about in his book.
A few weeks ago I was as stressed as I’ve been in a long time. Then I read this in Francis’ book (below). Needless to say, it didn’t sit well with me. I put the book down and read it again a few days later. I think he speaks a large amount of truth here.
“When I am consumed by my problems-stressed out about my life, my family, and my job-I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a “right” to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.
Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control” (39-40).
My prayer: Father forgive me for all the times I worry and get stressed out over things that are completely in your control. I do you a disservice by holding onto my life so tightly. Help me to understand what it means to live by faith and trust in You.
Do you think anxiety and stress are sins?