Counsel on Worry and Anxiety
“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."
The believer is not to worry about the necessities, about food and drink, about body and clothing. The words “do not worry” mean do not be anxious; do not be overly concerned and caring.
In these verses, Jesus is talking about being preoccupied with the material possessions of life. Many fall into the trap of centering their mind and thoughts on the necessities and luxuries of life. A believer is not to be wrapped up and entangled in the affairs of this world (2 Tim 2:4).
Jesus is talking about being so wrapped up in securing things that we become anxious, disturbed, and sleepless. Being focused upon the things of the world keeps a person from walking in the fullness and enjoyment of life.
He is also talking about being so consumed with getting that we think little of God. Fear of not having enough and spending all of our time trying to get more and more causes disbelief. A person who works to gain more and more security never knows God. He never knows God’s love and care. He never learns that God looks after those who truly trust him.
Lastly, Jesus is talking about being so entangled with the affairs of this earth that we forget eternity. We just forget to take care of our lives and bodies beyond this life.
The charge is clear. We are not to worry. We are to be consumed with God and people, not things. We are to seek God first and serve Him and the people around us first. Then the necessities, and in some cases the luxuries, will be given to us.
- Do you tend to become preoccupied with material possessions?
- What do you find security in?
- Have you experienced God’s love and care in your life?
- How can you become more consumed with God and less consumed with worldliness?