GOD WOULD HAVE US BE EAGER, NOT ANXIOUS

Are you enthusiastic? Ardent? Impatient for good things to happen? If so, you are eager, a trait God encourages as we walk in His righteous, peaceful, joyful path.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES        by Sally Bair

Are you Eager? Or Anxious?  

There is a lot of difference between these two words. EAGER means enthusiastic, impatient or ardent. The word ANXIOUS, conversely, describes a state of uneasiness, worry, and apprehension.

When I was in Alaska one year, I was eager to dig for clams but anxious about the boat trip across the rough, sea-tossed bay. I was eager to see the mountains but anxious about traveling on the steep, narrow mountain roads. I was eager to see wildlife up close but anxious about seeing it too close—especially after all the reports I’d heard about recent grizzly bear and moose-with-baby attacks.

The Bible clearly defines the words EAGER and ANXIOUS. First Peter 5:2, written to Christian believers, tells us to care for and serve other believers. “… not because you must but because you are willing, as God wants you to be … EAGER to serve.” Titus 2:14 states: “… Jesus Christ … gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, EAGER to do what is good.”

How often we worry about things when we wouldn’t have to. We could, instead, turn our anxiety into eagerness, anticipation of better things ahead.

This is not meant to be a lesson in English grammar but a lesson in Biblical principle. It all comes down to a matter of attitude. We can choose to be eager about something or anxious about it. We would be wise to heed Paul the apostle’s words from Philippians 4:6: “Do not be ANXIOUS about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God ….”

Paul, a missionary to heathen countries, had every reason to be worried and anxious. He was frequently beaten, imprisoned and shipwrecked. Yet he admonished the new church in the city of Philippi to not worry about anything. We can choose to follow his example.

Lord, we know that worry and anxiety are unhealthy for our bodies, our minds and our souls. Forgive us when we’ve allowed ourselves to be anxious and worried about situations. Remove from our minds that temptation. Help us rather to choose eagerness and anticipation in everything we face. Like Paul, give us the will to thank You for whatever comes our way. In Jesus’ name, amen.