By Reverend Vona Wilson, YMCA Chaplain
Worry is part of our human condition. Some people are more prone to worry. Others have learned it doesn’t change anything, so they’ve given up the habit. Still others are not quite sure if there is a difference between responsibility and worry. Sometimes they feel the same.
Jesus had a whole other take on the topic. He actually understood that we are people who worry. He even named some of the things we worry about: food, clothes, shelter, our families and relationships, opening our homes to people, having enough for the guests at a wedding, keeping our houses clean, and even our levels of income. And his approach to how to handle those worries was what made his teaching very different.
Jesus said that when we focus first on things that are of eternal value, i.e. “kingdom of God” things, then all these needs and worries we have in daily life will not be the issues that weigh us down and prevent us from having full lives. He actually teaches that we can have peace instead of worry.
Peace in perspective
As we focus on eternal things first, we experience our worries beginning to cease; the peace God promises to give us starts taking up more and more space in our daily lives. It is a journey. It is a life rhythm, and we only have to take one step, one day, at a time.
Here is the way this teaching is recorded in the Bible:
“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 clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor 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 of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and 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 worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." – Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 6:25-34
Let's pray together
LORD, thank you for understanding our tendency to worry. And thank you for helping us redirect our thoughts to those things that are of eternal worth: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise…” (Phil. 4:8). Lord, we trust you. Help us love one another today, in the way that you have loved us. That will keep us plenty busy for now. Amen.
Learn more about the Y's Spirit and Mind Ministries
At the Y, we know that growing in spirit, mind and body is the surest path to holistic well-being. Our library of Spirit and Mind workshops, seminars and small group classes is designed to support growth in physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.