Thursday, July 7, 2011

Matthew 6: "Do Not Worry"

25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I am admittedly a profound worrier. Perhaps out of previous life experiences, I often worry about the present and the future. For example, I worry (albeit much more before than presently) about Mandy, about possible job changes, about making enough money, and about my family’s wellbeing. It’s foolish in hindsight because I have no control whatsoever on most the things I worry about – yet I persist in worrying.

Do you sometimes feel that a specific passage in the Bible was written just for you? Well, this is the passage for me. During my college years, my pastor introduced this passage to me so that I could worry less. I have ever since read this passage to myself whenever I find myself worrying.

In the passage itself, the main message is – as its title suggests—“do not worry”. It is a teaching Jesus passed down to his disciples, to remind them that our Father is in absolute control and that we ought not worry about things. Jesus points how the little things are taken care off: the flowers, the birds, and the grass of the field. In the same manner, the message given is that, just as He cares for the rest of creation, God will take care of us. Our instructions are very simple to follow – instead of indulging in worries of this life, we are to seek “first his kingdom and his righteousness.”

Ultimately, the issue is how much you trust God with your life. If you truly believe that God is in control, then you would have no worries about anything. This is something I am dealing with/beginning to understand more of. At the heart of the matter, our sinful nature means that there will always be things that will cause us to worry or draw away our attention from what is most important. Sometimes we can become myopic and believe that if our concern was fulfilled, then we would be free to deepen our relationship with God. But this is complete wrong. For one, we should not be testing God in such a way; and two, we are making false promises. I know that for my own life, I thought for the longest time that had a found the right job, everything else would be okay. But what ended happening was that, after finding a job, my worry became Mandy.

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