The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Worry

“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 …”. (Matthew 6:25)

Many Christians would admit that anxiety is one of the biggest problems in their spiritual life. Everyone knows that we “shouldn’t” worry, but knowing that, and not doing it, are often two different things.  But in context Matthew 6:25 gives followers of Christ a really good reason not to worry, by encouraging them to focus their attention elsewhere:

The three opening words in this verse give us a key to understanding this: “FOR THIS REASON.” This points us back to what Jesus had just said in :24, “No one can serve two masters …”. Jesus makes it clear throughout this chapter that you cannot really focus on more than ONE ultimate good in your life: you can serve either God or money, but not both; God or anything else — but not both.

So then Jesus immediately says in :25, “FOR THIS REASON I say to you, do not be worried.”  In other words, the reason He doesn’t want us to worry is that our focus can only be on ONE thing at a time. If we are worried about food, clothing, or other worldly considerations, then we cannot be focused on God and His kingdom. Our minds will be constantly thinking about those things; we will make our decisions based on them; our actions will gravitate towards allaying these things, instead of serving Him.

If we are consumed with worry about earthly things, it is a sure sign that we are NOT focused on God and His kingdom. There can only be ONE Master we serve (:24); only ONE “lamp of the body” (:22-23) that keeps our attention.  This is how it all ties together.

This provides Christ’s followers both with a reason not to worry, and an antidote for it. They should not worry about earthly things because it will distract from what they should be doing for the Kingdom. The antidote for it, then, is to focus on that Kingdom work that God has called you to.  When you do, it will take your mind off of those other worries — and God promises that He will take are of all those other things.  Thus Jesus closes the chapter by saying, “your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His Kingdom … and all these things will be added to you.”

 

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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2 Responses to The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Worry

  1. Beth L. Olson says:

    #phantomworry

  2. Ben Coleman says:

    it’s also interesting to note that Jesus’ ‘practical therefore’ to ‘you can’t serve both God and mammon’ is quite different from what we typically do with it. Preach ‘you can’t serve both God and money’, and the followup often veers into a harangue about the rich (‘them rich people’, i.e. not *us*). Jesus instead takes it into something that is just as likely for the poor as for the rich (perhaps more so): worrying about getting the resources for daily life. It implies that serving money is as much a temptation for the poor as for the rich, and has the same effect: taking one’s eyes off of kingdom work and hindering one’s ability to serve God. This indicates that we *all* have to deal with this if we want to be effective servants of God.

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