Why worry? ∙
My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! – Luke 10:41
25 For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air, that 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?
27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
31 Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?”
32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Worrying is one of the more common and destructive human activities. “The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work” (Robert Frost).
Worrying can become a troublesome habit or even an addiction. With a bit of effort, troublesome habits can be altered, but addictions often require intervention and long-term strategies to overcome.
The capacity to be alert and concerned is an ability that has been given to us by the Father. It is designed for protection. Worry on the other hand is not really helpful. Worry is like a mouse on a treadmill. Worry demands energy and effort. There is motion, but absolutely no progress. What is worse than one mouse on the treadmill? Two or more mice on the same treadmill. Check out YouTube.
“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow” (Swedish Proverb).
Recursive worry is disparaged in the Scriptures repeatedly. But worry is more than denigrated, it is forbidden! The Lord Jesus Christ issued a clear and firm command, “So don’t worry” (Matthew 6:31). When we give ourselves over to worry, we violate this direct command. Worry indicates a lack of trust and confidence in the Father.
REFLECT & PRAY
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength” (Corrie Ten Boom).
Father thank You that You are trustworthy, and You lovingly desire to care for me. Anxious care and undue concern are too often a natural, ingrained, go-to reaction. Please encourage me and strengthen me to overcome this propensity.
For all of the Father’s children worry is unreasonable (Matthew 6:25-30), uncharacteristic (Matthew 6:30-32), unproductive (Matthew 6:33), and unprofitable (Matthew 6:34) (Arthur Jackson). Why worry?
In both Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 10:40, the Greek word translated worry or anxious is merimnao. It has the sense of anxious care, being troubled, or unduly concerned. Related words are meris and merizo which have the sense of dividing or parting. When we worry, we divide our emotions. We become fractured and splintered internally. Sadly, most of us know this all too well.
Considering the larger context helps us to clearly see and comprehend what the Lord Jesus Christ is saying about the heavenly Father’s loving care. Through His simple yet profound words, He opens our minds and understanding. Think it through for yourself. If there were no God, life would be random or driven by the imaginary concept of fate. People have no control over either.
Therefore, worry or anxiety is a natural reaction to the troubles of everyday life: poverty, hunger, shelter, clothing, or the like. Without a loving Father God, we would stand powerless. Such concerns turn to anxiety and drive people to try to protect themselves as best they can from whatever confronts them.
The children of the King do not live in a godless world. We have a caring, loving Father who is actively involved. That is why worry is not merely discouraged, it is scorned and forbidden.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Paul does not write, “Pray about it!” He is too wise to do that. He uses three different words to describe “right praying”: prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. “Right praying” involves all three.
The first word is prayer. Prayer is the general word for making requests known to the Lord. It carries the idea of adoration, devotion, and worship. Whenever we find ourselves worrying, our first action ought to be to get alone with God and worship Him. Adoration is what is needed. We must see the greatness and majesty of God! We must realize that He is big enough to solve our problems. The first step in “right praying” is adoration.
The second is supplication, an earnest sharing of our needs and problems. There is no place for halfhearted, insincere prayer! Our Father wants us to be earnest in our asking. Supplication is not a matter of carnal energy but spiritual intensity (Romans 15:30).
The third is appreciation, giving thanks to God (Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 3:17). The Father enjoys hearing His children say, “Thank You!” (Wiersbe [extrapolated])
“Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith” (Henry Ward Beecher).