The Folly of Worry

Matthew 6:24-34
2 Ch 24:17-25 / Ps 89

“Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
(Matthew 6:34)

All the birds and the bees that we see
Are 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

Jesus taught His followers to stay focused in their new-found vocation – abandon the pursuit of money for a more important life of mission. But He assured them that in God’s service they would lack for nothing. God would take care of all their physical needs. After all, if God could show His concern for such short-lived wonders of His creation like the birds and the plants, surely His love for His greatest creation would far exceed man’s greatest expectations. All we have to do is set our hearts on God’s kingdom and righteousness, “and all these things will be given you as well.”

Worrying shortens life. No wonder our Lord advised His followers 5 times: “Do not worry.” According to Him, no man ever increased the span of his life by worrying. In fact, medical findings have proven that worrying shortens it. Because worrying can lead to stress, which is the greatest cause of high mortality rates all over the world. Stress can cause strokes, ulcers, cancers and heart attacks.

How do we counter our predisposition to worry? The answer is prayer. 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 on the subject 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 on the average, people who are more materialistic tend to have shorter lifespans. Quite obviously, people who put their trust in temporal 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.

Lord, I am Your child, so why should I worry?

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