Sometimes, when you're flipping through your devos [or you check theverse of the day on your Bible and pretend like it's your devo, don't pretend like you haven't done it, we've all been there] you scroll through some letters in red that Jesus said, and you catch something that doesn't make you feel so hot. Matthew chapter six is like the chapter of all the passages where Jesus threw down some serious wisdom, and it kind of makes you cringe. Welcome to this week of my life. It's not like I don't agree with it, like obviously Jesus knows what He's saying. It's not like it's bad advice, I mean, of course it all makes sense. Hello, Jesus, that's why the words are in red. And obviously we don't all struggle in all of these areas. We all have areas we spiritually strive in, but on the other side, we all have things we battle and we all have pretty rough days. There are always those little things that I like to pretend I'm 100% on board for, but if we are just being real, I wish Jesus never said them. Let's review a few good ones:
Matthew 6:1 " Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."
Matthew 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."
Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
And here is the real kicker that got me, 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? That's where I drew the line in the sand and said peace out, I'm skipping this lil' guy today. And then it just kept on popping up. I work at a church. I am in love with it, like seriously in lovvvvve. But, I'm an intern. Like don't get me wrong, I get paid in ministry experience, office experience, and career training, which is amazing for me. I couldn't ask for anything better in the world. But intern means not a whole lot of income. I'm also a college student and I'm starting two businesses. And right now I live in Newport Beach where wealth is everywhere. So, I tend to get a bit worried in the financial department. God has been super clear lately about what He wants me to do. He's given me direction and opened doors and it's all right there in front of me. But, me being me, I pipe up quite a bit and try to have a few conversations with God about my concerns in His plan. It usually goes down something like, "Hey God, so I see You've got everything figured out here, that's worked out pretty perfectly in the past, and for the last 6,000 years or so with You, but I'm having a few concerns here about pretty much everything You're telling me to do, so I'm probably going to look for something else." I've been really talking God's ear off about this this week, let me tell you. And every single time either someone shows me that verse or I come across it or it pops up somewhere and I roll my eyes. Like I feel like I get it. I get that I shouldn't worry. I get that worrying is denying God's character. I get that it really will only do damage to me. But I still do it. I feel like I've got it under control and I can just do my thing and it'll work out. I feel like I need to be "realistic". But, clearly I don't have it. I get what the verse is saying, but I press fast forward and ignore it, because trusting is hard. Trusting God doesn't really feel good or natural or nice. But really, who else can take care of it better than God? I know we've all gotten the worry lecture before, but this one really gets me. After I had a few stops on that train, I was like, okay, I'm getting that I have to trust You but give me a sign. That would be great. [As if the 16 times that verse showed up didn't count] I just figured if I threw a few more wet fleeces out there, then I could be super sure I was really tracking with God. The day after I had a little reality talk with Jesus about all of this, I heard three people talk about this exact same thing. Then I decided I should actually pay attention to the church verse for the year at my church, 1 Corinthians 2:9. I knew that was the verse but for 3 months I decided it didn't actually count, like it was cool and all, but it didn't apply to me. Because that's just the logic of my 19 year old girl brain. 1 Corinthians 2:9 is, "However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him-" Well played Jesus. You really got me there. And that verse is amazing. Seriously, why does it make sense to put what God has in my future in the box of my fears from the past? I am not even capable of understanding how much more wisdom He has than my human mind. And if that wasn't all enough, the message today at church was the first in the series called "Things I wish Jesus never said". If you could see my face right now...