What to Do with Care
1 Peter 5:5-7
Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility…

What is care? The word has two shades of meaning. It means simply attention when it is said: "He took care of him." But it signifies anxiety in the expression: "Ye shall eat bread with care." Now it is possible to begin with that kind of care which signifies attention, and to go on to that which signifies anxiety. It is there that our danger lies. Attention is an advantage; anxiety is an evil. It is our duty to be attentive; and it is equally our duty to avoid anxiety. A young man, for instance, who has lust closed his school life and gone to business, finds himself surrounded by things new and strange. He applies himself with earnestness to understand his duties, and to meet the approval of his employer. While impelled by a conscientious desire to do right and well, he is in the line which conducts to success; but if he allows a harsh word to discourage him, or a failure or two to throw him into despair, he passes into a state of mind presenting the greatest obstacles to progress. A person conducting his own business must give it attention, or it will cover him with dishonour. It says little for a man's Christianity if he comes to poverty by his own negligence. But how easily he may pass across the line which leads to over-solicitude I Look, again, to the mother of a family. Is there any human sentiment more disinterested, pure, and fervent than a mother's love? Have you not known it to grow into an agitating and almost selfish apprehension? What can be said about the care due to the soul? Can that be excessive? In a world which is full of temptations to negligence and hardness of heart, what can be done without intense diligence and application? So long as care is just and healthful, it cannot be too great on this subject. But for this right state of mind many substitute a state made up of doubt and terror. Now how are we to be freed from a burden which is so embarrassing? What are we to do with it? We are desired to cast it all upon God. But how do we know that He will accept our care? From His own assurance that "He careth for us." "He careth for us." He has not forsaken the world He made; how is it possible that He should have ceased to think of the creatures He has so wonderfully endowed? The same wisdom which made us capable of perception, judgment, and forethought, watches over all our mental operations. While all men are under this providential charge, there are some whom He has brought into a special relation to Himself. He takes the deepest interest in them. Nothing can affect them which does not affect Himself. How strange that any of them should be crushed with anxiety! It is this confidence in God's care for us which leads us to cast our care on Him. This assurance will prompt us to tell Him, with all openness of heart, whatsoever oppresses us. We know how much in a time of sorrow we are relieved by the mere communication of our grief; we seem to have parted with much of it when we have simply transferred the knowledge of it to another mind. With much greater reason may we expect such a result to follow from looking to our Father in heaven, and recounting to Him the cause of our dread, and seeking from Him the needed succour. This trust in Him who careth for us, imparts not only relief from oppression and new power for duty, but leads us into the position most honouring to a creature. It brings us into "immediate fellowship with God; it establishes an interchange of thought and trustful love between our hearts and His. We then give Him proof of our confidence, and He responds to the sentiment which His own Spirit had awakened with all the fulness of His nature.

(C. M. Birrell.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

WEB: Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to the elder. Yes, all of you clothe yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

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