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Care, Carefulness, Careful

See also Care

CARE, CAREFULNESS, CAREFUL; weighing down of the mind, anxiety, mental uneasiness, solicitude, worry, or to have charge or custody of someone or thing.

These terms esp. in KJV may easily be misapplied because they connote not only due regard, concern and oversight, but also mental anxiety and tormenting solicitude. Originally the words signified that which distracted the heart from the true object of life (cf. Matt 13:22; Luke 21:34; 2 Cor 11:28). Although they include the idea of worry or anxiety, that is not the sole or primary meaning, as may be seen in 1 Peter 5:7 KJV, “casting all your care (Gr. μεριμνᾶν) upon him, for he careth (Gr. μέλει, G3508) for you.” RSV “cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you”; i.e., with paternal interest which will provide for your needs. Anxiety is the fruit of a misconception of God and a false sense of values.

“Care” (2 Cor 7:11, RSV “godly grief”) produces studious diligence in God’s service, whereas confused and anxious thoughtfulness (Phil 4:6 RSV “anxiety”) which destroys rejoicing and trust in God’s providential care is condemned (cf. 1 Pet 5:7 RSV). In 2 Corinthians 8:16 “care” indicates diligent concern for others’ welfare, and Luke 10:35 uses “care of” for oversight and service to another with a view to protection and preservation.

Jesus’ prohibition of “taking thought” (Matt 6:25-34) does not forbid “reasonable forethought” (Gr. prónoia) about the future, for a part of the discipline of a godly life involves man’s scrupulous discharge of his obligations to all for whom he bears definite responsibilities.