Matthew 6: 25-34
Why do we worry? Part I
The previous passage in Matthew warned us how possessions can divide our mind so that they control our direction in life. In so doing, they capture our hearts, and then control our will and aspirations (Matt. 6:19-23). Jesus continues in His discussion concerning those material things, that such pursuits will cause us to worry, and worry will take the place of all else in our life. The results of this control by possessions will create worry, as our attention, our heart, and the identity of who we are become wrapped up in them.
Place God First, God's Will is for us to have a right relationship with Him. We are to recognize His sovereignty over the universe, and our lives. Righteousness, character, and virtue are the main objects in our quest. These are the jewels that we take with us into eternity! Righteousness, character, and virtue must be our essence that spills onto others. If not, we are definitely not in His Will. When we worry, we cannot grow in righteousness, character, or virtue, because it takes over our lives, leaving no room for growth or maturity. Worry will cut us off from our faith and growth, because it blocks our focus and concentration upon our Lord (Heb. 11:10).
- Do not worry, we all worry, but, when you think it through, why do we worry? What is it that is so important when compared to our purpose, call, Christ's care and love, or our place in eternity?
- People throughout history and most people in the world today, have little beyond their basic needs of food, shelter, and a couple pairs of clothing. They also depended upon the help of others, seasons, and weather, especially, rain to irrigate the crops. Thus, the attainment of goods depended on the environment, weather conditions, and the cooperation of others around them. There were no stores, no supermarkets just around the corner.
- So, they would have had cause to worry, but Jesus addresses them not to do so! Now, consider all that we have today--much more than King Solomon would have had! After all, he did not have the food, material goods, or entrainment we have today.
- God is sovereign, and He watches over and sustains all of His creation, including the personal needs of humanity. (Psalm 104:27). Thus, if God is caring for His minor creatures…
- How much more for you, this was a contemporary Jewish argument to understand that God is in control. Most scholars believe the flowers that Jesus is pointing to are the purple anemones, where they got the purple dye for royal robes. And, these same flowers, when dried, along with weeds were used in fireplaces to heat their homes. This is an image of our mortality and even the best of goods are being merely temporary, eventually rotting and decaying (Psalm 103:15-16; Isa. 40:6-8).
- Neither sow or reap, adult birds are not idle. They do not plant or cultivate what they eat, nor, do they sit around waiting for their food as the baby birds do. Birds do not worry. They are diligent, working to gather food, preparing nests, caring for their young, entraining my cat, and other bird things. So, the inference to us is, we are still to do all we can to work using our talents, abilities, and gifts, trusting that He will guide and provide.
- If we act as baby birds and do not work, we are as the fool spoken of in Proverbs (Prov. 10:8-23)! But they do not gather more than they need or can use, like the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21)
- So why do you worry? This was a popular teaching and saying in Jesus time, He is pointing them once again to some of their good insights, while challenging them to not see it as academic, but something to practice!
- Jesus reminds His listeners then, as well as we who live now, that we can trust in God. He will provide. The cultures around the Jews would gratify themselves with as much pleasure as they could find and endure. And, they would pray to their gods, seeking favors by making contracts of services to them in turn, thinking they would get what they wanted.
We have to understand that when we worry about trivial things, lust after goods and riches, even things we need, it will choke from us the life we could have had in Christ (Matt. 13:22). It is our relationship with Him that is important, and that we are to seek. We are to seek His provisions for every aspect of our lives, and work all we can to help fulfill it. If we do not pay attention to Jesus' teachings because we are too busy worrying, we may go through life on earth without His help. Do not let Jesus be a concept, let Him be your LORD!
We are not capable of handling tomorrow's worries, because we have no control over the future. Worrying about the future will only distract us from the duties in the present. Trust in God! People without God naturally have a real need to worry about these things. However, if you have received His grace, and He is ruling in your heart, you do not need to worry!
- Can you make a list of all the blessings you have? Now, consider how much more you have than did king Solomon?
- We all worry, but, when you think it through, why do we worry?
- What is it that is so important when compared to our purpose, call, Christ's care and love, and our place in eternity?
- Make a list of all the things that cause you to worry. Then, brainstorm on how to rid yourself of these, or what you can do to control your worrying.
- What is the balance between your trust in Christ to guide and provide for you, and your call to work, using your talents, abilities, and gifts?
- So, why do you worry? How has it "distracted" you?
- Why is it when we just look to ourselves, we miss His golden opportunities and goodness?
- Christians are called to seek God and His Will, not our gratification, because it will lead us nowhere. How would pursuing the things of the world lead you away from Christ? What could you do to prevent it?
- God delights in meeting our needs! He is not a killjoy, seeking pleasure or entertainment in our suffering and sacrifice. (Matt. 6:8). So, how can you take comfort in this?
- How does worry show a lack of trust and a pointless disregard to our Lord who cares and provides for us (Prov. 16: 33)?
- Who provides you with life? If He is powerful enough to create the earth and you, what could prevent our total trust in Him to provide?
- How can you develop faith in God's providence, both in His ability and His willingness to provide for you and your church?
© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org