Last Saturday evening, our youth group gathered at our house. They laugh, and horseplay, and laugh, and tell inside jokes, and laugh. We threw a football, failed to launch potatoes, and ate lots of pizza and wings. The young people are full of life and fun to be around. Toward the end, we gathered in the living room in a big circle and Kyle led the devotion. When he began talking about anxiety, you could see that the topic resonated with these great youngsters. They tell jokes, and play, and laugh, but they also worry. They feel fear and uncertainty about their place in the world and their future.
If you are like me, you find it easy to think to yourself, “What do they have to worry about?” But the sad truth is that our young people have learned worry from us. Sometimes, when they seem unworried, we say things like, “Why don’t you take this more seriously? Don’t you know this could affect the rest of your life?” In other words, we are teaching them to worry, using the thoughts that we repeat to ourselves to make sure they worry as much as we do. Instead, we should be teaching ourselves, and our youngsters, what the Bible says about worrying.
Kyle gave us an activity to help us focus on the topic. We all wrote down our anxieties on a piece of paper. Then, Kyle focused our minds on 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” The word translated “casting” literally means to throw or sling away. Then, we took all of our written anxieties, and cast them into the fire, asking God to help us trust him to care for us, instead of trusting ourselves. And there is the rub: do you believe God when he says he cares for you? If yes, you have no need to worry.