Do Not Worry

One of Henry Ward Beecher’s favorite stories was about a young man who was applying for a job in a New England factory. Asking for the owner, he found himself in the presence of a nervous, fidgety man who looked hopelessly dyspeptic. “The only vacancy here,” he told the … More


Jesus gives a command not to worry (v. 25). For Christians, worry and anxiety are forbidden, foolish and sinful. Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise of God. We may try to make it sound better by calling it concern, or burden, but the results are still the same. Adding doubt to the danger of possessions, Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have no possessions: to worry! The implication of the test is that all anxiety is provoked by worrying about material and temporal things.

Jesus gives three illustrations of how foolish it is to worry about food, longevity and clothing. First He explains how birds do not sow, reap or stockpile food but God feeds them (v. 26).  If He carefully takes care of the birds He certainly will take care of His children who are made in His image. The second illustration has to do with life expectancy (v. 27). Our culture  seems to be obsessed with trying to lengthen life, yet worry is that which puts many into an early grave. Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands and the whole nervous system.

The third illustration uses flowers as a model (v. 28). It is an indictment of our day that so many waste so much on expensive clothes they will wear only a few times. If He clothes the flowers He will certainly supply us with the clothes we need. Solomon with all his wealth was not as well clothed (v. 29) God gives such beauty to everything that grows (v. 30). Don’t worry about what we eat or drink (v. 31). Only people who don’t know God worry (v. 32), your Father knows what you need (v. 33).To make reasonable provisions for tomorrow is sensible but to be anxious for tomorrow is foolish (v. 34). 


What material needs (not wants) do I have right now? What have I worried about in the past that I shouldn’t have? What do I have that I haven’t turned over to the Lord?

Matthew 6:25-34 (English Standard Version)

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

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