What, Me Worry?

Matthew 6: 24-34
2 Chr 24: 17-25 / Ps 89: 4-5, 29-34

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 than food and the body more than clothing?
(Matthew 6:25)

Like the birds and the flowers be,
Contented in God’s provision;
Without money they’re worry-free,
All happy in God’s creation.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. So, 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? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? Look at the flowers in the field. They do not toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, you men of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Only the pagans worry about such things; your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:24-34)

Reflection

Six times our Lord Jesus advised His followers against worrying. According to Him, no man ever increased the span of his life by worrying. We now know only too well how the reverse can be true. Worrying shortens life. In fact, medical findings have proven that worrying often leads to stress, which is the greatest cause of high mortality rates in all the countries of the world, in relation to strokes, ulcers, cancers and heart attacks.

How do we counter our predisposition to worry? The answer is prayer. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything. In everything resort to prayer and supplication, and bring your requests before God.” A regular habit of prayers strengthens our faith because constant communication with God draws us closer to Him. A stronger faith reduces our tendency to worry. Belief is a very powerful force. No longer does medical science take its efficacy for granted. Much research have shown that people who attend religious services more than once a week live, on average, seven years longer than those who do not.

On the other hand, findings have also indicated that people who are more materialistic tend to have shorter life-spans. Quite obviously, people who put their trust in their possessions are more pessimistic in their long-term outlook of life, and are therefore more likely to make worrying a regular preoccupation. Jesus said, “It is the pagans who set their hearts on these things” (Mat. 6:32). People of faith definitely have an edge. They have the confidence of children who know they always have a loving Father to turn to when all the chips are down. If you are God’s child, why should you worry?

Read the Bible regularly, and there find many passages that will wean you away from the bad habit of worrying. Isaiah, for instance, reads, “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God, I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isa 41:10). The Book of Psalms is full of assurances, like Psalm 34:10: “Fear the Lord, you holy ones; nothing is lacking to those who fear Him.” St. Peter also wrote, “Place all your worries on Him since He takes care of you” (1Peter 5:7).

Lord, we take comfort in Your promise, that “God Himself will provide you everything you need, according to his riches, and show you His generosity in Christ Jesus” (Ph.4:19). Thank You, Father for dispelling all our worries. Amen.

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