An on-the-street reporter once asked an on-the-sidewalk citizen if he agreed with this statement: "Polls show that the two greatest problems with society are ignorance and apathy." The man responded, "I don't know and I don't care!"
"I really don't care!" can betray a nasty attitude. My parents often uttered it in exasperation when I nagged them too much about something I wanted to do. It really meant, "Leave me alone already!" However, for the believer, "I really don't care!" can be the ultimate expression of positive faith.
You may, at first, think me twisted or hardhearted, but when I read troubling articles in the newspaper, whether they concern economics, politics, or culture, my final reaction is not caring. It's not that I turn a cold nose to human events; it's just that I don't get bent out of shape over the news. Do I really care? Yes. Do I really care? No. This is one of the enigmas of the Christian life.
When a person becomes a believer, he or she gets two things: a new heart and a new Daddy. The new heart enables us to care; the new Daddy enables us to not care.
The Bible exhorts the believer thus: "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble" (1 Peter 3:8). This is the essence of caring for the situations of others. This is the same compassion that God has for people.
God's Word also tells us, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6, 7). "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6, 7). This is the essence of NOT caring: Trusting God to take care of all your needs. When we do that, He will supply a peace in our heart that the world can neither understand nor take away. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
You see, Jesus gave no qualifiers to his promise. He didn't say, "Don't worry, unless the banks collapse or a rogue nation gets atomic weapons or the pay envelope has a pink slip or the x-ray has a little speck." There is nothing that we can't pray about and that God cannot handle. It is trusting that fact that brings us peace and confidence. We can care about what is happening, but not with the hopeless, desperate or reckless care that unbelievers usually exhibit. We can throw our cares on the Lord through Bible promises carried back to God through believing prayer. Cares cannot be in two places at once: If you give them to God, you can't be holding them yourself. You can't have your care and cede it, too.
At times, I've been accused of being cavalier and unrealistic. I prefer to think of myself as carefree. This is not the same as having a devil-may-care attitude. Maybe the devil DOES care. I don't care if he does or not. Carefree is not the same as careless. The devil is not my Lord and FatherGod is.
I care what happens to you and everyone else. Moreover, God cares about us and can help us. So, bring on the scary headlines; I really don't care!
Alan Allegra is a freelance Christian writer in Pennsylvania. Contact me at email@example.com. More articles at Lifestyles Over 50: http://www.lifestylesover50.com/ and the Morning Call: www.mcall.com. Available for writing. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alanallegra/
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