DayBreaks for 11/24/11 – Virtue in Anxious Times
What anxious people we are! We are worried about our health. We worry about our futures. We worry about our pasts. We worry in the present. We worry about circumstances. We worry about what may happen and we worry about what may not happen. We, like Martha, are “anxious about many things.” And that’s not how God wants us to live! Why? Because all our worrying can’t control any of those things…and therefore, as the Psalmist said, it is “useless.”
Most of us are touched by the suffering of the world and would like to do something to help. But the core message of anxiety is that we cannot afford to share or get involved because we can never have enough. Put more strongly, in a culture permeated by anxiety and fear, the very things we have traditionally called sins or vices (hoarding, greed and suspicion) seemingly have become wise and prudent virtues. We have allowed fear, rather than trust and love, to govern our lives. But such fear is a form of idolatry because it suggests we are giving more attention to our own security than we are giving to God. Scott Bader-Saye warns, “the ethic of security produces a skewed moral vision. It suggests that suspicion, preemption, and accumulation are virtues insofar as they help us feel safe. But when seen from a Christian perspective, such ‘virtues’ fail to be true virtues, since they do not orient us to the true good—love of God and neighbor. In fact, they turn us away from the true good, tempting us to love safety more than we love God.”
God’s virtues have not changed. He loves forgiveness, mercy, justice, righteousness, generosity. Those things have not changed because He never changes. Let’s not let the world re-define virtue for us!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
PRAYER: It is so easy for us to be subtly influence by the world and the way it thinks, Lord. Help us be grounded and rooted in your Word so we know what you care about and have a basis for living life that doesn’t ever change. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page. If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.