Why Shouldn’t You Worry?
- The Disease: Matt 6:25-32,34
Matthew chapter six, and this is one you could spend a whole session with somebody on. Matthew 6 beginning in verse 25: “For this reason I say to you, ‘Do not be worried about your life as what you will eat, or your body, what you will put on. Is life not much more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you, by being worried, can add a single hour to his lifespan? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow. They do not toil or spin, yet I say that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not also much more clothe you, you of little faith? Do not worry, then, saying, what will we eat or what will we drink or what will we wear for clothing? For the Gentiles eagerly seek these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'”
And we have an audio where I go through this, and sometimes I’ll give this to somebody, or sometimes I’ll go through my outline in a counseling session, and, let’s study this together, how does this apply to the worries that you have about foreclosure or unemployment? And, when you read a passage like this, there are different types of people, just like there are some who are unruly and some who are weak and some who are fainthearted. There are some people who are worry-warts and their whole life is consumed. They’re worried about how they’re gonna pay for their college education, they’re worried about retirement which is 30 years from now, they’re worried they’ll catch AIDS if they ever have to go to the hospital and use the blood supply. Everything is about worry, and some people are normally okay, and they’re going through a crisis. And normally they’re pretty calm, but she’s just learned that her husband is having an affair, and now, she is worried, how is she gonna take care of her kids and what is her future gonna be? And there are some people who are happy-go-lucky and nothing seems to bother them, and by the way, that’s not necessarily the best way to be, either. If you’re unemployed and you’re about to have your home foreclosed on, it’s not a day to sleep in because you have no worries. The Lord has made us, and by the way, I know people like that, I don’t know if you do, but I know people where the plane of their family is nose-diving down to crash and they’re as relaxed as can be. I just trust God, nothing bad’s gonna happen. Well, you may have the responsibility to grab the wheel and pull back, go find a job or something, you never know. In this passage, Jesus doesn’t just give the command not to worry, but He actually says why not to worry.
And I’ve got my little outline here that worry is senseless, useless, and faithless. He says it’s senseless because your Father cares for you, your heavenly Father does. Verse 25, He says, “Is life not much more than food and the body more than clothes?” He says, God has already given you life, and of course, for us, not just physical life but spiritual life. And if He has given you life, won’t He sustain you? If you buy yourself a new Porsche, don’t you think you’ll buy gas? God has given you this great gift of life, He has a purpose for you. Furthermore, He’s taking care of the lesser creation, He’s taking care of the birds, He’s taking care of the fields. You’re His child. He does care for you. Luther says that, “The birds and grass are made our schoolmasters. What a disgrace that a helpless sparrow can instruct the wisest of men in the principles of theology.” So, it’s senseless if you really understand God as your Father. Jesus is describing here a way of thinking that should cure worry.
Senseless, secondly, worry is useless. Verse 27: “Which of you, by being worried, can add a single hour to his life?” And it’s actually a lifespan. We think this way, too, where this is the length of my life, and we know from the Bible, like Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto man once to die and then comes judgment.” God has determined the number of my days. In the same way, this actually happened, I had a, my brother-in-law, when he was in high school, he’s from a family of short people, and he was unusually short along with his parents, and he was consumed in high school about being short. He was reading books about how you can stretch yourself, and he would try different exercises trying to get tall. And the whole thing looked so ridiculous, ‘cuz, who can make himself taller by worrying about it? It’s a useless exercise. But Jesus is saying the same thing. Your worrying isn’t gonna solve anything, it’s not gonna make things better. It may not lengthen your life, it could shorten your life if you worry yourself to death.
Verse 34, if you’re worried about tomorrow, that means you’re not being productive today. And then, third, it’s useless, it’s senseless, and it’s also faithless. That’s what I’ve talked about in verse 30, “Oh you of little faith. If God clothes the grass, will He not much more clothe you?” Anxiety is due to unbelief. We need to trust that God will never leave us nor forsake us. He says, the Gentiles worry about these things, verse 32, that’s what the unbelievers do. Now, they have reason to worry, but you’re a child of God. And worry is sin, because you’re not trusting in Him. So He tells us why not to worry, then Jesus tells us how to stop worrying. And a lot of that is in verse 33. Instead of worrying, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” There’s a popular chorus, probably written in the ’70s, when I was a young Christian, on that, and we’ve all sung it perhaps. But the context makes it a lot more meaningful, doesn’t it? That when we are tempted to worry about even the necessities of life, don’t try, in the world’s way, to overcome anxiety, don’t worry, be happy, blind optimism or escape. But rather to serve God, to seek His kingdom first.