Jesus tells this horrifying story about seeds of Christian faith that get choked by thorns (Matthew 13:8). For a long time I interpreted these thorns to be (I hate to admit this) like the thorns in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty – giant, unescapable, fire-breathing dragon included. I really thought that the things that might strangle faith were big threats of the day – Communism, Racism, Sexual Predators, Big Government persecution, Scandal – I mean, whatever Christian were worried about in that moment. – I really thought that’s what choked faith.
So Jesus’s own interpretation hit me hard when I read it… Jesus says.
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.Matthew 13:22 (NIV)
According to Jesus, the real threat – the thing that can “choke the word” – is… just worrying about life too much, just getting distracted by too many good things. That your life of faith can get smothered by stress, anxiety, or activity and overscheduling.
I wonder how much that is happening right now in our over-scheduled, over-stressed world. – We need to talk about how to get our lives back from the strangleholds of worry and consumerism.