When Jesus taught, he was always deeply spiritual and highly practical at the same time. We like to divide those two concepts, but Jesus knew that things like time, money, and pleasure all relate to who we are at our very core.
So when Jesus preached one of the most important sermons in history – The Sermon on the Mount – he addressed the deepest places inside us by hitting on the most practical of subjects, like relationships, finances, and… worry.
He gives, in just a short passage, three very practical reasons why worry isn’t working for any of us…
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
Matthew 6:25-30 NLT
First, Jesus says, worry is unnatural. You don’t see animals worrying much. They have an innate sense of caution to alert them to danger, but they don’t sit around worrying about their future.
That doesn’t mean they don’t plan for the future. It just means they don’t dwell on all the negative possibilities the future may or may not hold. What they do is what they were made to do – they gather what God provides them.
You weren’t made for worry, either. You were made for more than a life of anxiety. You were made for joy and for God’s purposes.
Second, Jesus tells us that worry is unhelpful. That is, worrying about a potential problem actually does nothing to prevent it. It feels like we’re doing something, but we’re actually wasting time accomplishing nothing when we choose to worry.
And third, Jesus tells us that worry is unchristian. In other words, worry is what we have to resort to doing when we don’t know the One who is absolutely in charge of all things. But when we claim to believe in and follow Jesus, we demonstrate that faith by trusting him instead of worrying.
So stop dwelling on what might go wrong and fill your mind with something else – truth. Build your thought life on the foundation of God’s promises, not the potential problems you can’t fix yet anyway.