By Don Fanning
Matt 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?
WORRY is a paralyzing and debilitating mental process that cripples many believers into apathy and isolation. It can keep us from considering any serious commitment to serve the Lord locally or globally. Sometimes it is called a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) with numerous symptoms.
Fear of failure, doubts about your needs being met, insecurities of a variety of sources (i.e., criticisms, risks, losses, or rejection), or becoming unpopular, are a few of the possible root problems that cause worry or anxiety. However, they all stem from the basic distrust in God’s ability to intervene helpfully in the affairs of one’s life. Is God trustworthy or not?
Our verse begins with “therefore,” so we need to see what it is “there for.” Jesus had just declared a reality of life: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (mammonas, “wealth, the personification of riches, the comprehensive word for all kinds of possessions, earnings, and gains, the god of materialism”). This is not a command, but a statement of truth: everyone will direct his energy, talents, ambitions, time commitments, emotional focus, and desires toward what he believes will meet his primary needs in life.
Security is usually defined as feeling confident that one’s physical needs (and wants?) are going to be met, and that he will be accepted or important in the eyes of people. The question is: who can meet these needs? If it all depends on me, and my performances in various areas of life, then worry and anxiety are normal. There are too many elements of life I cannot control. Can I say that it matters more for me to please God than to please myself?
Three of the Gospel writers recorded Jesus saying, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:25; Mat 16:25; Mar 8:36). All the security of the luxuries of the world and all physical possessions or wealth that one could accumulate for selfish reasons will never satisfy. There is never enough “stuff” to generate enough security to cease worrying. The belief that money or commodities will give us security is called idolatry.
“Therefore” literally the command is to “stop worrying” (merimnao, “to care about, take thought of”) about any, and all aspects of your life; live thoughtlessly, though not foolishly, about your basic needs. What is Jesus asking of us? Do not take into consideration your personal security or any other need you may have, when considering how you will obey “seek first the kingdom of God” (6:33). He promises to provide everything you will need. Jesus is looking for men and women willing to serve Him without fear of what it may cost them. With no though of what you may lose, or how you will live, could you trust Jesus for what you “need?” Fear of not having enough stuff for one’s comfort quenches the initiative to “risk” serving Christ and thus violates this command. Will stuff keep you from giving your life for the gospel sake?
Psalms 9:10, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
For a year’s daily devotional of these Bible studies, order a copy of the book Truths to Live By at Branches Publications for your copy.