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Is Worry the same as Caring?

Today’s Question: I've got a question I just needed to ask. I was doing some work at home when my sister came to give me some news. She said that one of my other sisters had gone to see a doctor, and as it turns out they discovered some lumps in her breasts that might be malignant. And from what I understand the doctor told her that she may have cancer.

Well this is definitely not the sort of news that anyone wants to hear about a family member, but I looked at my sister and shrugged the news off and said, "Is that what they said?" I didn't get worried nor did I break down in tears and give my most fervent prayer to God. I simply stopped what I was doing, closed my eyes and praised God for healing.

Now what bothered me, though, was the fact that I didn't get all worked up with concern. Afterward I felt just a bit guilty because I thought maybe I was taking the situation lightly. But the Bible says not to worry (Matt 6:25, Luke 12:22). So am I right to not get worked up about this? My question is, is it okay not to get overworked on situations like this, and not feel bad about people criticizing saying that I just don't care? I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. Thanks for your input.

Paul Vicencio

Bible Answer: You asked a great question. Jesus is the example for us to follow. Jesus cared about people, yet we find that He never worried over them.

In Matthew 14:14 it says, "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick." There is a huge difference between pity and compassion. Pity means to feel sorry for people, yet unable to help them. Pity has no power.

Compassion, on the other hand, means to be touched by people’s pain, yet helping them. Biblical compassion has power.

For example, you may watch one of those gut-wrenching television specials where they show starving children. Most people feel sorry for them. That’s pity. But when you do something about their hunger, that’s compassion.

What I feel that you did, Paul, was to show compassion for your sister by praising God for her healing. You see, you did something beneficial for your sister by acting and speaking in faith. Your actions will do more for her healing than simply crying about her illness.

We should never worry over any situation, but instead we should pray with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Notice that the Bible says not to be anxious about anything. That includes your sister.

So instead of worrying the Bible says to pray with thanksgiving. So long as you pray then you show the greatest concern (not worry) over people.

[Special note from Paul: Just a quick note to let you know that my sister was taken to the hospital to get those "malignant" lumps checked. The doctors had informed her that they would do a biopsy. But if they found the tumor to be cancerous they would immediately do surgery. Well, she went and the lumps were benign! It didn't surprise me to know since I knew that God was on our side. My eyes just well-up with tears of joy knowing what an awesome God we serve!]

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