Lutheran Church Extension Fund

"You Might Be In Trouble If..." Baptismal Edition

Reading time: two minutes. Let’s look at the Lutheran Wellness Wheel in eight weeks through the lens of potential warning signs of an imbalanced life. Our brief definition of Baptismal Wellness reads, “As I grow in God’s grace of Baptismal LOVE, I am finding joy in my IDENTITY as His new creation in Christ.” Our three warning signs this week center around the words “stuck,” “worried,” and “criticized.” That sounds awful, but unfortunately, all too familiar.  Let’s take a look! The first warning sign is a feeling of being stuck, trapped in a situation that is miserable, uncomfortable, distressing and filled with anxiety.  It a lonely place to be.  To wake up with a dread of facing the same situation that you were in yesterday without hope of a drastic change can drain the hope right out of you. The second warning sign is excessive worry about your future situation.  Stuck is a dread of the present.  Worry is a dread of what the future may hold. The third warning sign of poor baptismal health is an unhealthy response to the criticism of others.  You may have made a mistake and been criticized for it.  You may have received unwarranted criticism.  The inability to process it and move on is a dangerous sign. So what does a child of a loving heavenly Father do in the midst of being stuck, worried and criticized?  It’s a matter of simply remembering who you are as a new creation in Christ. God’s children are never stuck because we’re never alone.  Paul and Silas in jail had every reason to feel stuck and alone, but they celebrated the night away in prayer and worship, confident that although there was no real reason to expect that their situation would dramatically change anytime soon, the God who loved them was with them, listening, blessing and encouraging them. They remembered whose they were and who they were and that made all the difference. The same goes for worry.  Someone once defined worry as “assuming responsibility that God never intended us to have.”  Remembering our baptism into Christ is a way of letting God be God, and assuming my rightful place under His wings, the place of His helpless, frail dear one.  Read what Jesus said in Matthew 6! And since we’re all imperfect, we’re all due for criticism from time to time.  Redeemed and forgiven, however, we’re able to seek God’s forgiveness, rejoice in God’s grace, and move on in the Spirit’s power to try again. And if criticized unfairly, we remember the promise of the Gospel, sealed in baptism, that God’s view of us is different than those who try to grind us down with criticism. “You might be in trouble if…”  The fact is, we’re all in trouble all of the time! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25). Remember whose you are and who you are, and dive back in! Thanks for reading. A Congregational Wellness Weekend is designed to help create a ministry environment at your church or school where professional church workers can thrive and serve joyfully in their calling at top capacity. Let’s start the conversation today! Find more information on our website or contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman to learn more.