We all know what we focus on grows, so why worry about worrying? We have our human natures. We may blame our genetics, or say we cannot help it, that the problems are the problem. But this is not so. If we tell ourselves this, we are lying to ourselves. Sometimes we are tempted by our own desires for the things that create conflict. Some of us love the drama (we say we don’t, but sometimes we do). Let’s look deeper.
“Stop being anxious about your lives as to what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your bodies as to what you will wear. Does not life mean more than food and the body than clothing? Observe intently the birds of heaven; they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are? Matthew 6:25, 26
We are all part of Creation, with its renewable and remarkable nature. We are all part of the cycle of life. How many of us reading this article at this very moment are totally without food, water or clothing? Sadly, some of us will die today because of lack of food and water. Some of us are without adequate clothing. We do have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in this world. It appears the real problem posed by this scripture, is not that we ourselves are without food, drink or clothing, but that we worry about the superficial things, and place undo importance on them.
“Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to your lifespan? Matthew 6:27
There is a false thinking out there that suggests we are happier with the accumulation of the most toys, things, relationships or money. We know deep down in our hearts that this does not work, but sometimes we live like this anyway, hoping to add length of life or joys of life to our human experience.
“Also, why are you anxious about clothing? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin; but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. Now if this is how God clothes the vegetation of the field that is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe you, you with little faith? Matthew 6:28-30
Where is our faith? Do we have faith? What do we put faith in? The answer to these questions is the mirror of the heart and soul.
“So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ For all these are the things that nations are eagerly pursuing. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Matthew 6:31,32
Yes, we live in the world where food, drink and clothing are needed on a daily basis. “The nations” (people and countries of the world) try to live this life as if God were not part of it, God, the ultimate Creator of all of it.
“Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Notice the order of this promise. First the focus of thought is on the coming Kingdom of God, only after that do we begin to receive all these other benefits from putting God first in our lives. It does not say to focus and struggle on getting our food, drink and clothing first on our own, without God even in the picture. We invite our own struggles in right in the beginning, by not putting the Kingdom of God first (notice also it does not say simply to believe in God, but to put the KINGDOM and God’s righteousness first), not after we get everything else we need, or only after it is popular, easy or convenient.
“So never let anyone be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties.” Matthew 6:34
How many of us worry about the things to come in the next few days, months or years. And how many times do we find that the very things we were worrying about never even came to pass? This is not always the case, but very often, it is. Let us resolve to only be concerned about the things right before us at this very moment, deal with what we have to deal with, in the very best way we possibly can. That is all we can ever really do, our very best.