Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Be free of anxiety

I should like you to be free of anxieties.
I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction. - 1 Corinthians 7:32a,35

St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians was partly written to address questions posed by the Church there. In Chapter 7 marriage is discussed. It would appear that the Church in Corinth was advocating asceticism in matters of sexuality. In and of itself this is not a bad thing, but the Church at Corinth was distorting it in such as way as to make it the only good thing. This was causing some distress to some of the members of the Church at Corinth, and St. Paul took this opportunity to clarify things.

St. Paul mentions that unmarried people have anxiety about pleasing the Lord, while married people have anxiety about pleasing their spouses. This is not meant to say that an unmarried state is somehow better than a married one. The point lies in the word "anxiety." St. Paul is making the point that there should be no anxiety over pleasing the Lord or the spouse. Anxiety over right behavior should not take precedence over serving the Lord. Christ should be the center of the lives of those who are married and those who are unmarried. The anxiety over adhering to some custom only serves to distract people from the Lord causing them to focus on that custom rather than on the Christ and his teachings.

St. Paul is therefore saying regardless of the state you are in (married or unmarried), do not let anything distract you from Jesus. We are to keep in mind that the gospel of Jesus does not put restraints on people but frees them from anxiety and grounds them in love.


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