The Futility of Worrying
Text: Matthew 6 : 19 - 34
The problem of worrying is not easily resolved. It cannot be dismissed and set aside by a few choice words. Thus Jesus had to devote some time to discussing the problem of worrying in some depth. One of the things that He taught His disciples was to recognize the futility of worrying.
“Which of you by worrying can add one
cubit to his stature?”
A cubit is about a foot and half or 45 cm. We cannot help but notice the humour that must have come across as Jesus spoke these words! Of course it would be impossible for anyone to add a cubit to his height! In the same way, worrying is nothing more than a futile exercise! It yields no results whatsoever! Why engage in worrying then?
THE REBUKE OF “LITTLE FAITH”
Once again Jesus made a powerful pitch against the deadly problem of worrying. This time round, a strong and direct word of rebuke was attached.
“So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:
they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you
that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so
clothes the grass of the field, which today is,
and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will
He not much more clothe you, O you of little
“So why do you worry about clothing?”
Jesus knew the hearts of all men. He knew that many tended to worry and that the level of worrying was very deep. The first illustration of the birds of the air, was now given reinforcement by the illustration of the lilies of the field. These can be very beautiful to those who love the open countryside. Their beauty is simple and natural, and not inferior to the kind of beauty Solomon bedecked himself with by his wealth!
The logic Jesus offered was straightforward and powerful. There was no escaping the force of His logic. Surely the children of God are more precious than the lilies of the field?
“O you of little faith…”
This then was the root of the problem. There was “little faith” in God’s provision. This was what caused so many to worry and become preoccupied with the physical aspects of life.
THE WORRIES OF THOSE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD
If believers continue to worry, then they are really no better than those who did not know God.
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall
we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What
shall we wear?’ For after all these things the
Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows
that you need all these things.”
Children of God must exhibit that they are different from those who cannot speak of the Lord as Father! Jesus used the term “Gentiles” as a broad category of those who did not know God as the children of Israel knew Him.
If people did not know God then their worrying is understandable. However, those who profess that they know God as Heavenly Father, must surely believe that He knows all about our earthly needs and that He would provide for all His children!
THE CHALLENGE TO SEEK GOD FIRST
What a powerful word Jesus gave to His disciples. Do they really want to exercise their faith in God? Then they must dare to put into practice these words of Jesus.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be
added to you.”
1. The disciples were to learn how to cast worries aside.
2. They had to exercise faith in the Lord.
3. They were now challenged to seek God’s Kingdom actively and believe that all that the necessities of life would be added to them.
A WISE ADAGE TO LIVE BY
As Jesus closed this section on the subject of worrying, He added an important adage.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Tomorrow’s worries should not be today’s concern! Faith should be exercised instead! Each day’s challenges would occupy all one’s time and energy.