Have you ever tried to stop worrying? How grateful would you be if you did stop worrying? What value would a life characterized by gratitude be to people within your circle of influence? Stopping worry is hard for some and even harder for others, and we often just end up worrying about worrying, uggh! First, let me define the idea of worry by saying what it is not. Worry is not deliberate consideration of what we ought to do in word or deed. The Bible tells us to do all that we do in word or deed in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Col 3:17), and the Apostle Paul prays for his beloved brethren in Philippi to be able to discern what is best . . . filled with the fruit of righteousness in the things they do and say, during difficult times. Both of these require careful consideration of what to do and how to do it, but this is not worry.
The English word worry originated from words that described everything from the gnawing of an animal at an object to strangling or choking something. The original word translated as worry in Matt 6:25 is used for apprehension or anxiety about possible danger and misfortune. Apprehension and anxiety can leave us ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 1:3-4, 8). The kingdom, reign, of Christ in our lives leaves us to be like a city on a hill or a lamp lighted in a dark house (Matt 5:14-16), a people free from worry. When Christ reigns in our lives then we stand out for God’s purpose and are a blessing to those around us.
We hear Jesus’ command – ____________ do not worry about your life . . . , but we often miss the first word, Therefore! The word therefore takes us back to Jesus’ warning about treasuring things in this life (vs. 19–20). Things in this life we should not treasure are things that thieves break in and steal and moths and rust eat and destroy (Matt 6:19–20). They are also the very things that most people worry about! Jesus gives us the solution to worry when He tells us to treasure things of heaven. So, if you have things gnawing at you or choking you do a quick check to see if they concern what you truly treasure, or if they only concern things in this life. Treasures in heaven will guide our hearts to heaven and stop worry so that we can be a blessing to others!
Treasures in the Extra Mile Verses for this week:
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. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? . . . 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt 6:25, 31–34 NIV).