Running Scared (Part 3): God Speaks on money and possessions

Read about what I’m doing here. Part one here.  Part two here.

Today, we look at half of the third section (“God Speaks on money and possessions”) in Edward Welch’s excellent book Running Scared.

Here is what I am loving about what I am reading:  Welch is making connections for me that I should have made, but in the blindness of fear and worry I cannot see.

Fear is nurtured by ignorance.” This is how chapter nine starts and hits you like a ton of bricks, or at least it did me.  I don’t like to think of myself as ignorant, but I know that I have fears and worries that make regular appearances.  So, if this is true, then I am missing something.  There is something yet to learn.  And so, Welch walks us through a very familiar portion of the Sermon on the Mount:  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry…” (Matthew 6:25-34).

One of the strategies for dealing with worry is to be overtaken by something more important than the object of your worries.”

But in my ignorance (and sin), how much of the beauty of God and His Kingdom have I missed? What is truly important to me? Often, I find, it is my own self-protection and personal kingdom-building, with walls as porous as a sieve – where fear and worry constantly flow in and little that’s good flows out.

And so, Welch points out that our problem is largely about mixed-allegiences.  “Our trust is divided…If you are looking to plumb the depths of worry, you can find it in your mixed allegiences.  You trust God for some things but not others.  You trust him for heaven but not for earth.”  I really wish Welch would stop writing about me!  But there was something more here – more than just a finger probing wounds.  There is care and cure here:  “The cure is not to simply know what the problem is.  The cure is to know the One we are called to trust. Keep looking at the triune God and how he has revealed himself throughout history.  Don’t spend your time focusing on your wavering allegiances…When you seek the King, you are seeking his kingdom.”  So, my prayers, my worship, my contemplating Scripture do matter.  It may be small even miniscule, but it is the right direction.

There is so much more here…I will complete my thoughts shortly.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Johanna on July 30, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I absolutely love this book. It brings up so many good points that I had never thought about.

    Currently we are having problems with our refrigerator/freezer and we have had to throw away all our food. (I never realized how much good stuff we keep in the refrigerator and freezer!) Questions about what we will do for our next meal and when will our large appliance get fixed are floating around. But I am reminded of Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus talks about the birds of the air and the flowers and how he takes care of them. Welch points out that “worry is focused on tomorrow and God has already promised us that he will care for us tomorrow” (110). There is no reason to worry, everything has been taken care of. We, who were made in God’s image, are far more important than the birds and the flowers! He will take care of us. I will get to eat my next meal!

    I am thankful that I can rest in the knowledge that God will provide for my every need.


  2. Posted by adamtisdale on July 30, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Yep…we are dealing with refrigerator issues as well. That is one serious object lesson!


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