Recently I’ve been finding myself worrying a lot more than usual. I worry about the future, finances, career path, etc. To an extent, I have control over some of this, but to think I can actually plan for the future and map out what I want to do is a little foolish. I’ve actually been annoyed at myself for trying to plan and control so much. This has turned me to one of my favorite series of verses in the book of Matthew.
Matthew 6 is in the middle of Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount. Towards the end of the chapter, Jesus begins speaking about worrying. The first part of verse 25 he says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.” He makes it pretty simple to understand that worrying is a negative thing. Looking further into the end of chapter 25, these are four points that stood out to me in the text:
Life is More Than “Life”
Continuing with verse 25, ““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what will you wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
It seems to me Jesus is getting at more than just saying not to worry. He’s saying life is more than the necessities. He’s also saying life is more than about us. If we stop worrying and focusing on ourselves, think about the good we could be doing for others. Our intended impact is not to make sure we are properly fed and/or clothed, it is to positively impact the kingdom.
Each Moment Spent Worrying is Another Moment Gone
Going on to verse 27, Jesus asks, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
As much as we all love to worry, it does no good. Worrying about health or job security won’t have any positive effect. It won’t add anything productive to our lives. The only thing it will do is add stress to an already stressful life. I picture many impoverished and desperate people listening to Jesus and him pleading with them not to worry because God is in control. I’m sure many of those people had more serious worries than we do, but the message about worrying remains the same.
The next point that really stood out to me comes from verse 30. Jesus says, “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?”
I love this part of the sermon. It hit me hard that we worry so much about insignificant things, yet God takes care of the field and wildlife. It follows that the creator of the world, the creator of us, would care enough to take care of us. For me at least, it’s a control issue. I like thinking I am in control of things. The truth is we really aren’t. The sooner we surrender control to God, the sooner we can let him lift the burden of worry off our shoulders.
God Knows What We Need
The last point I found through these passages is in verses 33 and 34: “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.”
God created us and cares for us everyday. Jesus is trying to get across that we have no need to worry because God knows what we need. Our main focus should be on seeking God and his kingdom. Isn’t that powerful? God has made it so easy for us. Seek the kingdom because God knows what we need and he will provide it.
Until next time,