Worry. We all do it. It’s been said, ‘Worry does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.”
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he speaks about worry in Matthew 6:25-34. Jesus said we worry about life (Matt. 6:25) needs (Matt. 6:31) and tomorrow (Matt. 6:34).
Three reasons we should not worry…
1- It is not productive – “Can worry add anything to your life?”
The word “worry” comes from the German word ‘worgen’ and means ‘to strangle.’ The Greek word is a combination of two words meaning ‘to divide’ and ‘the mind’. Worry causes a divided mind. It is like a dense fog.
2- It is not necessary – “Won’t God do more for you than the flowers and grass?“
God is Master. He knows everything. He owns everything (Ps. 24:1). He controls everything (1 Chron. 29:12). He provides everything (Phil. 4:19). God takes care of His own. He feeds the birds and clothes the plants. These are simply His creation but we are His children. He surely will take care of us.
3- It is not worthy – “Isn’t life more than food and aren’t you worth more than birds?”
People have more significance than just a body to maintain. We are more than the fulfillments of our appetites. Our needs are more than physical. We have a deeper need. Everybody has ambitions. We are not like plankton drifting out at sea. We need something to live for, to give meaning to our existence. Some choose ‘material security.’ Others choose God’s kingdom. That is where it’s at.
How to stop worrying…
1. Put first things first. This has to do with priorities. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Seeking God’s Kingdom means Jesus rules your life. This begins by trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is also a call to be involved in bringing people into His kingdom.
Seeking God’s Righteousness is a broader concept. Because God is righteous, He desires it in every human community, not just Christian. We are to make His righteousness attractive so others will desire it. Live it and encourage it.
2. Live one day at a time. This has to do with simplicity. “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
This warns us about ‘double worry.’ Tomorrow has enough trouble. Don’t contaminate today by corrupting it with tomorrow’s troubles. If we worry, we double what we worry about. If our fear doesn’t materialize, we worried for nothing. If it does, we worried twice instead of once. In both cases it is foolish.
This encourages us to do it today. Do what needs to be done and do it well. In Luke 10:38-42, Martha was worried and bothered. Jesus told her that one thing was needed. Certain things need to be done. Get them done, and concentrate on God and His Kingdom. And never underestimate the importance of one task.
Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise and providence of God. Worry shows that we are mastered by our circumstances and by our own finite perspectives and understanding rather than by God’s Word. Some worry is good. We meet deadlines, prepare for an assignment, get medical check-ups. Jesus was warning against destructive worry, especially about material possessions. Jesus is not discouraging forethought but rather nervous anxiety.
Worry cannot change the future. We simply must leave that in God’s hands. If you are not for sure that you have accepted Christ as Savior, you can do that today and leave all your tomorrows in His hands. If you have accepted Christ as Savior, and yet are worrying about your tomorrows, that’s not your job. Leave your troubles in the hands of the Savior. He will take care of them and you.
You can read my other Sermon on the Mount articles: Life Redefined: Sermons from The Sermon on the Mount.