Tempted To Care?

Facebook Friends of Biblebase host Ron Bailey posted this a few days ago:

“Enter not into the path of the wicked,
And walk not in the way of evil men. Avoid it,
pass not by it;
Turn from it,
and pass on.”(Prov. 4:14–15 ASV)

“Yield not to temptation
For yielding is sin…”

Verses from Proverbs, lines from an old hymn, these complementing each other. Do you make the connection? There is a difference between temptation and entering into temptation. To come across the pathway of the wicked and feel an attraction is not sin; to turn into that pathway is a different matter. It is not sin to be tempted. It is sin to enter into temptation.

Later that same day I came across something in F.B. Meyer’s devotional Our Daily Homily. He was talking about Jesus’ parable of the types of ground that receive seed, enlarging particularly on the thorny ground. This is what he said:

“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” (Mk. 4:19).

There is enough nutriment in the land for the thorns alone or for the wheat alone, but not for both; and so there is a brief struggle for mastery, in which the sturdy weed prevails against the slender wheat, and chokes it. Nourishment which should go to its support is drained away from it; and though it does not actually expire, it leads a struggling existence, and becomes unfruitful. What are these weeds? For the poor man—Cares: The Greek word for care is Division. Cares divide our heart, and distract it in many different directions…. What shall the poor man do to prevent the Word from becoming unfruitful? He must take his cares to his Father, and by one act deposit them in His safe-keeping.

And thereafter, as a care tries to break in on the peace of his heart, he must treat it as a positive temptation, handing it over to God.

Positive—he means no doubt about it, this is a temptation disguised as a responsibility.

That arrested me, particularly because of the earlier reading on Friends of Biblebase.

The deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things are more easily recognized as temptations to be resisted. What about the cares of this world? “What shall the poor man do to prevent the Word from becoming unfruitful?”

“He must take his cares to his Father, and by one act deposit them in His safe-keeping.”

That is a reference to a passage in 1 Peter:

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1Pe 5:6,7 KJV)

Various commentators and other translations show that the more accurate translation of verse 7 is, “Having cast [once for all the whole of your care] upon Him, for He careth for you (1 Pt. 5:6,7).

Peter is saying that this is to be something done once, and once-for-all. The idea is of unburdening ourselves and loading on Him the whole of our cares—once-for-all. Any attempt of any care to re-impose itself upon us must be recognized for what it is—a temptation. A temptation which is not to be entered into, but resisted, put in its place.

It’s very interesting and comforting that the word “careth” in “He careth for you” is a verb from the same root as the noun “care” used earlier in the sentence—having cast all your care on Him—where it means, anxious care, care that divides and distracts the heart. If, then, we take that same meaning forward into the phrase “He careth for you,” construing it positively now, we understand our dear Lord is, well, not really “distracted” with our care, but totally concerned and preoccupied with it, giving it His undivided attention, considering it His own, and therefore His own responsibility. There is no way He is going to neglect it or let it fall to the ground.

So let us lay it to heart. Let us recognize care for what it is—a thorny weed determined to choke out the growing Word of God in our lives. Let us not yield to the temptation to give it room. Let us not solace it once again, nor feed on it, worrying it as a dog a bone. Let us not converse with it in our minds, let us not give it the time of day. Let us not enter into temptation. Let us resist it. It is in safe caring hands. Let us, then, be encouraged to continue care-less!

9 responses »

  1. Let us grow a garden full of color and light, show quality!! Gardens that lift up Jesus and draws men and women to Him. Casting all divisions. Bless u bless u.

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  2. Hi Allan!
    This post layers on to something I recently learned from my long illness (which has become a fuzzy memory in the past few months). The Lord graciously sent me to F.B. Meyer to read these powerful, comforting words from his commentary on the book of Hebrews regarding our Great High Priest. These thoughts put some real meat to “He careth for you” and to your words: “The Lord is totally concerned and preoccupied with [our care], giving it His undivided attention, considering it His own, and therefore His own responsibility.”

    From F.B. Meyer:
    “As a pure and holy Person, immersed in a sin-filled world, He experienced grief and sorrow. He wept in the garden and cried out as a forsaken Son on the cross – He knows the bitter grief of your soul. He understands that you do not have the strength to lift yourself when you fall. He is ever ready to speak healing words to you for those gaping, aching wounds. We are tempted in extraordinary and ordinary ways: tempted to despair and tempted to yield to overt sin. No day is without its trouble and well He knows this. As our High Priest in heaven, experienced in human life, He longs to provide compassionate, sympathetic, genuine help.

    “The True Priest is a compassionate shepherd for erring and wayward ones; bringing comfort and hope to those experiencing sorrow. He is a warrior seizing the proud hand of the oppressors. He never rests as long as there is one poor wanderer lost in a snowdrift or in the wild places of the world.

    “He is the spokesman for those who cannot pray for themselves – who do not know what or how to ask – interceding for them.

    “HE IS A FAITHFUL AND MERCIFUL HIGH PRIEST. This word ‘faithful’ is so precious! It carries with it the idea of one who ‘runs up at the first cry of distress.’ He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps 121:4) He watches us with a gaze that is not for a moment diverted from us. He sees us through the storm. He is there when the day breaks. . . You may be bereft of all power . . . unable to utter a single intelligent sentence, frantic with agony and remorse; but if you only make the sound of a moan, He will instantly respond.”

    F.B Meyer was truly a master at providing memorable, usable word-pictures!

    And then there is this from dear Andrew Murray:
    “HE SPEAKS TO HIS FATHER ABOUT YOU and takes personal charge of your spiritual life. In His presence you will discover moment-by-moment help and relief for the unavoidable distress and temptations of a fallen world.”

    If we truly see and take to heart the commitment He has made to those who love Him, we would not easily forget “He careth for you.”

    Thank you for this good post, Allan!

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    • Hi Lori, it’s so good to hear from you once again, dear sister, it’s been a while; I’ve been thinking of you and wondering how you are doing!
      Thank you for these choice words from F.B. Meyer, I love the way he compares (so much better than I did) our “anxious care” with Christ’s own “anxious care” for us. He “neither slumbers nor sleeps… His eye is ever upon us.” Wonderful comfort. Thank you, Jesus.
      I especially love your last sentence, Lori:
      “If we truly see and take to heart the commitment He has made to those who love Him, we would not easily forget ‘He careth for you.’” Amen, I lay that to heart.
      And I was thinking much of Hebrews as I wrote the blog– Christ being our compassionate high priest unto whom we are called to come in our times of temptation, knowing He is merciful and faithful to “run to the cry of” those being tempted.
      May we continue “safe in the arms of Jesus… free from corroding care,” dear sister.

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    • WOW. that is the icing on the cake. Our very best friend in all of the universe loves
      us. He talks to Papa about us… … tears of joy!!

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  3. I have observed this “cast your care upon him for he cares for you” at work in ways that are not beneficial. (As perhaps you have also.) That works in such a way that the “care caster” becomes a burden and inconvenience (sometimes a source of suffering) on those who were provident enough to plant in the season of planting so that they harvested in the time of harvesting. I am wondering if you have any thoughts concerning the difference between ‘care-lessness’ as you have defined it above and the sort of carelessness that expects someone else to ‘pick up the tab’. Thanks

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    • Hi Ellis, thanks for sharing. My thought was specifically of the relationship between each disciple and his or her Lord. In His yoke we may be care-less; perhaps carefree is a better word. The only responsibility we have is to take His yoke upon us, the rest is His responsibility.

      It is a different thing if someone is shirking his or her own responsibility in any matter, expecting others to deal with the problem. Our Lord may well bid us to do this or that regarding some issue; He puts that responsibility upon us as a matter of doing His will. It’s just that we may be carefree in the midst of it, because we have cast all our (anxious) care upon Him. He says, “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” In the same breath He says, “Take my yoke upon you…” He puts that responsibility upon us as our part– to be yoked together with Him in His yoke, a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.

      For, as Paul says in the passage about sowing and reaping that I think you have in mind, “Every man shall bear his own burden” (Gal. 6:5). That is, his own responsibility. There is no room in the kingdom of God for those who do not “shoulder” the responsibility of the will of God, and carry it with His grace.

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