“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:25-34
Termites…in your head?
Let me explain. You spend an extraordinary amount of time, money and resources to build that nice home that will keep you safe and protected from the harsh environment around you. Once you are done, you sit back and relax, enjoying your new home. Everything is great for a while. But then something subtle begins to take place. You may not even realize it’s happening. One day, you step on that board or try to hang a picture on the wall and realize it’s a little spongy. It’s not as solid as it once was. And then you realize it. You’ve got termites. Those subtle little creatures ate away the solid protection that once provided you peace.
Now to the ones in your head. Well, not the real ones anyway. (You probably wondered where I was going to go with this) Stop and think for a moment. There was probably a time in your life when you decided to trust God in simple faith. You knew you couldn’t make it on your own so you decided to allow Him complete freedom to carry out His plan and purpose in you, as well as through you. Then, you only needed to relax and count on Him to take care of the things you once tried to keep under control yourself. No need to step in and take charge anymore. But then in a moment of weakness you begin to doubt if everything is going to turn out as you think it should. You begin to think, “What if…” No one can tell by looking (and you certainly wouldn’t think of telling anyone), but in place of your inward peace and simple faith, you are now immobilized by…you guessed it, the termites in your head. They are very subtle. It is the most notorious faith killer in all of life. That’s right. It’s called worry.
In today’s teaching, the heart of Jesus’ message is: Don’t worry – not even about the necessities in life. You may be thinking, “That was easy for Jesus to say. After all, He’s God.” But it must be an important lesson for us to learn because He gives the command, Do not worry three times (vv. 25, 31, 34). Jesus then gives four reasons why worry is so wrong.
- Worrying is being unfaithful to our Master (6:25)
“Therefore” refers back to the previous verse, in which Jesus states that the Christian’s only Master is God. It may seem subtle, but there is a profound connection between God being our Master and the frivolous waste of time we call worrying. In effect He is saying, “Because God is your Master, I say to you, do not worry.” For Christians, worry and anxiety are forbidden, foolish, and sinful. Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise and providence of God, and yet it is a sin that Christians commit perhaps more frequently than any other. The English term worrycomes from an old German word meaning to strangle, or choke. That is exactly what worry does; it is a kind of mental and emotional strangulation, which probably causes more mental and physical afflictions than any other single cause.
Everything we now have belongs to the Lord, and everything we will ever have belongs to Him. So why do we worry about His taking from us what really belongs to Him? It really is a no-brainer.
2. Worry is unnecessary because of who our Father is (6:26-30)
To explain His point, Jesus uses three real life examples of things about which we may worry. He points out how foolish it is to worry about food, our life expectancy, or about clothing.
Possibly pointing at a bird flying by, He makes His point (no pun intended). As an object lesson, He calls attention to the fact that birds don’t have detailed and logistical-intensive plans for obtaining food. God provides the resources for them and also provides the instinct to find these resources. If God goes to this extent to take care of seemingly insignificant creatures such as birds, how much more will He take care of those who are created in His image and for whom Christ died?
The second illustration has to do with life expectancy. Our culture is obsessed with trying to lengthen life. We exercise, eat carefully, and pay for life-saving treatments in the hopes of adding a few years to our lives. We do all this for a few more years, but no amount of fretting and trying will coax God into extending our life’s span. The fact is, we can worry ourselves to death, but not to life.
The third illustration has to do with clothing. He uses flowers as the object lesson. How many of us have more than one change of clothing? There are many who stress over not being able to afford the current designer labels when we may have a month worth of clothes in our closet. Those to whom Jesus spoke probably had no more than the clothes on their backs, and to them He said, “Do not worry.” To be anxious or worried about the things we need to survive is sinful and shows little faith according to Jesus.
3. Worry is unreasonable because of our faith (6:31-33)
Worry is characteristic of unbelief. If we truly trust God, we have no need to worry.
4. Worry is unwise because of our future (6:34)
God promises His grace to us. He will provide the grace for each day. But He does not give us grace for tomorrow until tomorrow arrives. There’s enough trouble in each day without borrowing some from tomorrow.
Do you really want to live a worry-free life? If so, we are told how in the concluding verses of chapter 6.
First, “Put first things first.” Seek God’s will above everything else.
Second, “Live one day at a time.” Don’t contaminate today with tomorrow’s troubles.
Have a Great Day!