This next section of The Sermon (vv. 6:19-7:12) explores how the material goods of this world (i.e. our possessions in life) relate to being a whole, virtuous person who experiences the Greater Righteousness that Christ calls us to. This text speaks candidly about Money, Possessions, Anxiety, Judging Others, and finally about prayer [again].
This week in particular, we explored Matthew 6:25-34 and talked about anxiety. There’s no doubt that, for many of us, this topic has a fuse attached that leads to a powder keg of thoughts, wounds, and hardship — both past and preset. But Christ wants his disciples to know what anxiety is, what can cause it, and how focusing on God’s Kingdom and righteousness can help us overcome it!
As a note: We as The Parish Church acknowledge that anxiety is a complex issue. There are a whole host of triggers that can lead to anxiety and a variety of them can be present at the same time. We do not, nor would we ever, simply tell someone to brush your anxieties under the rug and just pray more. Christ is King over our whole Nephesh (lit. “soul” in English, meaning whole person) and as such, we realize that many issues (anxiety included), need a “whole-person” response. Armed with that conviction, we wholeheartedly endorse and support Christians pursuing Christian counseling, psychology, or psychiatry if they are finding it too difficult to overcome their anxiety (or any other personality disorder for that matter). Rather than taking an either/or approach (meaning you either pursue medication/counseling through psychiatry/psychology -OR- you keep praying more), we endorse a both/and approach if necessary — with a priority towards recognizing that even in the midst of possible chemical imbalances leading to anxiety, there’s always a spiritual component.