Do Not Worry
No one is alone in stress. Anxiety is through the roof, especially in this country and generation. 1 in 3 children deals with anxiety. We all encounter it at some level. It’s almost like another pandemic. There is an undercurrent of fear and anxiety in our culture today: politics, finances, the housing market, employment, the future. Anxiety manifests in lots of different ways. Much of the outrage in society today is rooted in fear and worry. What does Jesus have to say about anxiety? How should we respond?
Jesus has just finished speaking on money, and now he moves into this.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…”
Whatever is most valuable to your heart will be expressed through worry. The context here is money, but it could be any topic: health, independence, career, etc. What does Jesus mean by “do not worry”? The feeling of anxiety is what we experience emotionally and physiologically when we experience uncertainty. This is part of humanity and living in a broken world. Jesus felt it too. He had profound fear and anxiety. He doesn’t say to avoid feeling anxious. The word He used for worry means to take care or thought; it is a verb, not an emotion. This is an over-concern. Don’t let your fear or anxiety preoccupy your mind and heart. How realistic is this? If it was as easy as “Don’t worry. Be happy” we would all be a lot less worried. This isn’t very realistic. Jesus goes further beneath the behavior to the heart.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”
God is abundantly good and gracious. Jesus is describing a God who is lavish and intentional. God did not have to make flowers beautiful; it flows from the goodness and generosity of God. A lot of fear comes from a scarcity mindset. We fear not having enough money, time, credit, fame, etc. Jesus says God is abundant in His goodness.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
When we worry we…
- over-estimate our problem and our ability to fix it
- under-estimate the goodness and faithfulness of God
Jesus tells us to passionately pursue the Kingdom of God: His reign & rule. Seek first to be a part of what God is doing in the world.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows; it empties today of strength.” – Corrie Ten Boom
You are not in control.
Today is all you have.