Clinton church of Christ

Reasons Not to Worry

March 19, 2014

John Allan

Worry is something that virtually every human has wrestled with in their lifetime. If you are one of the many who would like to rid yourself of the worry habit then please consider the following Biblical reasons to resist the worry bug:

Beginning March 19 this page will be updated each weekday through March 28th with a Biblical reason not to worry. Please consider bookmarking this page so that you can easily return to see the updates.

Reason One: Because God Said So!

We will observe many other reasons not to worry, but let’s start with the first one Jesus gave in Matthew 6 of the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:25 Jesus said “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on…”

If Scripture provided no other reason not to worry than a command from God not to do it, that should be enough. It is to our added benefit, as we will see in the coming days, that Jesus provided several additional reasons not to worry.

As we consider Jesus’ comments on worry in Matthew 6 we must not ignore the significance of this first reason: God told us not to! Our desire to honor God and abide by his commandments should motivate us to fight back against worry. The next time you are tempted to worry, try reminding yourself that it is not something God wants for you. He wants better!

Reason Two: Because Other Things are Happening

The end of Matthew 6:25 provides our second reason not to worry. Jesus said “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (NKJV)

Food and clothing are basic needs. They are also universal needs: everybody on earth needs food and clothing to preserve their life and health. Yet, Jesus explained that there is more to life than those things. Why spend all your time worrying about your needs, as legitimate as they are, when there is more to life?

One side effect of worry is that it overemphasizes its object. The thing you worry about is blown out of proportion as if it is the only thing in the world that matters. It consumes your thinking, it consumes your conversations, and it consumes you.

The next time you find yourself stuck in a rut of worry take a breath, gather your thoughts, and think about what other things are happning right now that could use your attention.

Reason Three: Because God Provides

Jesus used two illustrations from nature in Matthew 6 to show that God provides. In Matthew 6:26 he spoke of the birds of the air: “they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” In verses 28 and 29 he explained that the lilies of the field don’t make their own clothing and yet King Solomon “in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Despite what some may claim, man is more valuable to God than plants and animals. Thus, the force of Jesus’ argument is that God’s care for these lesser elements of Creation prove that God will care for man. “Are you not of more value than they?” Jesus asked rhetorically about the birds of the air. With respect to the grass he said “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30; NKJV).

Reminders exist throughout God’s creation to demonstrate his intimate care. Each one can remind us that he cares for us and will provide our needs.

Reason Four: Because Worry Doesn’t Fix it

“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:27; NKJV)

A striking reason not to worry about things is because worry does not fix anything. Allow that to settle in your mind for a moment: worry simply does not work.

Jesus used the specific example of growth. You cannot gain height by worrying about it. Luke 12:26 elaborates by adding “If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” (NKJV)

In many areas of life we would try something on a small scale to see if it works. Architects design models to show clients before going ahead with the work of construction. Builders test models before going on to the full-scale project. They want to know that their plan works on a small scale before investing in using it full-scale.

Why not put worry to that same test? When we worry about little things it does not work. Why, then, would we possibly apply something that fails on the small scale to a big situation in life?

In other aspects of life, we would not dream of doing such a thing. So don’t make the mistake of trying to use worry to solve your problems.

Reason Five: Worry is for Unbelievers

When Jesus said not to worry about our basic needs of life (what we eat, drink, and wear; Matthew 6:31) he followed that command by saying “For after all these things the Gentiles seek” (Matthew 6:32a).

To very heavily paraphrase that portion of the verse: “These are things faithless people worry about.”

The implication is clearly that followers of Christ should not have those worries. Even though they are universal and fundamental needs, those who follow Jesus Christ should not be worrying about them.

From a practical standpoint: how could we possibly convince the world to cast their cares on the Lord (see 1 Peter 5:7) if we are not doing it ourselves?

Worry is inappropriate for those who genuinely believe in Jesus Christ.

Reason Six: God Knows our Needs

If God did not know our needs, maybe we could panic. If God wasn’t capable of meeting our needs, maybe we could be concerned. But God knows our needs, can provide, and does provide.

“For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:32)

Reason Seven: It Distracts us from the Kingdom

Matthew 6:33 provides the recipe for having our needs met: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (KJV)

When we spend time worrying about things, it distracts our energy from the labor we could be doing in the Lord’s kingdom. Free your mind from worry and you’ll free it up for growing in your walk with Christ.

Reason Eight: Because Other Things are Happening

The final verse of Matthew 6 gives the final “reason not to worry” that we will consider in this series. Jesus said “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Having already prohibited worrying about the fundamental needs of life, Jesus also urged his listeners not to worry about the future. His reason is two-fold: tomorrow will take care of tomorrow, and there are enough things going on today to keep you from worrying about tomorrow.
We know from James 4:13-16 that we can think about the future, so long as our planning is done with God’s will in mind, but the future is not something to worry about.
Next time you are tempted to worry, think about other tasks you can be doing now. This will not only distract you from the object of potential worry, but also enable you to use your energy productively.
Final Thoughts
This series was not designed to exhaust all that Scripture says about worry. Nonetheless, Matthew 6 contains much of the New Testament’s teaching on the matter and is an excellent resource. If you wrestle with worry, consider reading this great chapter (especially verses 24-34) regularly.
John Allan

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 11:07 am and is filed under Uncategorized.

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