I would like you to be free from concern. NIV
Well, how straightforward is that?
Paul is writing to the church at Corinth. My father gave me such an interesting perspective on Paul the other day. He said that Paul did not get to go everywhere he wanted to go. Instead, he had to be content with writing letters to the churches that he was really wanting to visit. How blessed we are that this is the case! If he had visited, we would not have his wonderful letters and all of the wisdom that is contained in them. God had a plan.
If I go back a bit, starting in verse 29, he says, “I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste; so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple — in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things — your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out. I want you to live as free of complications as possible.” The Message
I find it so interesting that Paul believed that Christ’s return was imminent. His words, to me, are as fresh today as they must have seemed to the Corinthians, centuries ago. When I look around my world, I, too, believe that time is of the essence.
I also love the phrase, “deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts upon you.” This is a wonderful tool to use when working to avoid worries. If I can see the annoyances in my path for what they are — things the world has thrust upon me — it is easy to visualize stepping around them, dealing with them sparingly, and moving on to the important work of my Heavenly Father.
I will think about that today.