[Thanks to Rick Warren for an article that sparked this blog.]
Who never worries about anything? I think worry is so common that we may think it’s normal. We may even believe it’s good – because it shows that we care.
Yet Jesus taught his disciples not to worry!
Why would he say that?
Listen to his words recorded in Matthew 6 from v25 (NIV):
“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 than food, and the body more than clothes?
“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?
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 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?”
In this lesson, Jesus gives us at least three good reasons why not to worry:
1. Worry denies the “natural order”
Nature programs often focus on the phenomena of prey and defence; but Jesus points us to the phenomenon of provision:
“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.”
“See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.”
Birds don’t worry about growing seed and storing up seed “just in case”. They just get on with being birds! And God looks after them! Fields definitely don’t worry – they don’t have brains to do so! But God dresses them in magnificent splendour! A natural order of creation is that God provides for his creatures. And we humans are his highest earthly creations – we are most significant to him because we are made in his image! Jesus says we are far more valuable to God than the birds and the fields! If he provides so wonderfully for them, we can be confident that he will also do so for us! Worry therefore denies the order of nature!
2. Worry is totally unhelpful.
The brutal reality is that worrying doesn’t fix anything – in fact, it exhausts us. Jesus asked this pointed question (v27): “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” The answer is no. In fact, medical research indicates that it has the oposite effect; worry wears us out!
Worrying about a problem doesn’t solve it. It’s like pacing around your room – there’s a lot of activity, energy, and motion, but you don’t go anywhere! And to make it worse, worrying usually makes us miserable as well!
Worry is unhelpful; it doesn’t help us and it often hurts us.
3. Worry is unnecessary.
v30: “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?”
Jesus assures his disciples that God is our provider. He will take care of us – so we don’t have to worry. God will provide because he is our provider – whether we worry or not!
In the end, Jesus rebukes us worriers for having “little faith”. The root of he matter is that we don’t trust God. We worry because we don’t recognise God’s incredible greatness or his loving kindness.
– We don’t see him as creator and sustainer of all things – so we try to make and sustain all things ourselves… and guess what, that doesn’t work – so we worry!
– We don’t see him as the Father who loves us more than the rest of his creation that he lovingly tends – so we don’t trust him with our lives – so we worry!
– We don’t think that God sees our situations and knows our needs – so we think its up to us… but we can’t do it… so we worry!
The first step to stopping our worrying is to see God for who he is. Then we can trust him with our lives.
No… but it’s where we need to start! In my next blog I’ll give some lessons from an expert! (Not me!)