Guest Author: Ashley Kurian
If we were asked to make a list of sins we commit (assuming we were willing to do so!), how many of us would put ‘worrying’ on that list? Lying, cheating, cursing, disobeying, lusting, envying, gossiping—perhaps; but worrying? Why would we put that? Isn’t worrying a normal part of life? I think it’s safe to say all of us worry to some extent. It’s often said that worry is a natural part of being human and if we don’t worry or get anxious about things, then maybe we are irresponsible or just don’t care. Ironically, when we see someone else going through a difficult situation, often the first thing we tell him/her is ‘Don’t worry’(!). We say it will be alright and things will work out. Many times we do this, not fully convinced in our own mind of what we are saying; we just say it because it’s the ‘proper’ thing to say (along with ‘I’ll pray for you’!).
In Matthew 6:25-34, Christ addressed this issue of worrying and also told us we should not worry. But unlike us, when He said that, He had some rock solid reasons to back up what He was saying. After/while reading the passage, consider these seven reasons Christ puts forth:
- Life is more than food and clothing (v25).
Then what is life about? We all know the answer. It’s about knowing God and fulfilling his purpose. It’s about His kingdom. Of course, we use the material/ physical things of this world, but these things are temporary. Life is about the spiritual things that are eternal.
- We are valuable in the sight of God (v26 & vs28-30).
If God can take care of insignificant creatures like the birds and even grass, which exists maybe a few days and then is burned, how much more will he care for those whom He has bought with the precious blood of His Son?
- We cannot improve/change anything by worrying (v27).
Worrying about the future is as effective as trying to worry ourselves taller. In other words, it is useless. Why not spend our time doing something useful?
- Worrying is a sign of a lack of faith (end of v30).
We often say our salvation is by faith and that is true. But the Bible also says our Christian life is by faith. Three times the verse “The just shall live by faith” is mentioned in the NT (Rom.1:17; Gal.3:11; Heb.10:38). So if we worry, what we are really saying is that we do not trust God to take care of us.
- Worrying is a characteristic of the unsaved (v32).
Many times when we think of the characteristics of the unsaved, we think of things like murder, idolatry, or immorality. But here the Lord says worry is also something that characterizes those who do not know God. So when we worry, we are acting like unbelievers!
- Our Father knows our needs (v32).
We should not worry because we have a heavenly Father who is aware of our needs. In Ch.7, Christ said that if earthly fathers know how to take care of their children, how much more our heavenly Father!
- Each day has its own troubles (v34).
We should not worry about the future because God has entrusted to us the present time, the day we are living in. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to plan ahead, but if worrying about the future does not allow us to fulfill our duties in the present, that’s not what God wants.
You might be thinking, ‘Okay, I’m not supposed to worry. Then what should I be doing?’ Thankfully, the Lord answered that question as well in v33 –
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
In other words, what should we be doing instead of worrying? We should be focusing on the Lord’s will for every area of our life – family, school, work, church, etc. As we do that, He will take care of the things that we often find ourselves worrying about.
So the next time we find ourselves worrying, let’s remember that the same Lord, who, in the Sermon on the Mount, said not to get angry at someone unjustly (5:21-26), not to look at another person lustfully (5:27-30), not to divorce (5:31-32), not to swear (5:33-37), not to take revenge (5:38-48), not to do our good deeds selfishly (6:1-4), not to pray and fast like the hypocrites (6:5-18) and not to lay up treasures on earth (6:19-24), is the same Lord who said not to worry (6:25-34). Most of us would take issues of anger, lust, divorce, swearing, etc seriously. Do we take the issue of worrying just as seriously?