What strangles faith?
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 out lives back from the stranglehold of worry and consumerism.