“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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
Anxiety. The word itself makes me feel uneasy.
It was fitting that this last Sunday Jordan used “anxiety” in the context of Matthew 6:25-34. In the Bible translation I use, the word used in that passage is “worry,” and while I’m of course familiar with both words, “anxiety” strikes a chord with far more people in our culture and social context.
I don’t need to show you the stats to tell you what you probably already know. Every day we are inundated with choices: what to eat, what to wear, where to go. Our technology continually presents us with more options and gives us the means to rearrange our plans in a single moment. We look at our government, our economy, our health system, and we feel unstable and uncertain. We look at our own lives and wonder, did I get the right education? Am I in the right field? Will my kids be all right? Will my marriage last? Am I making the right investments for the future? Am I saving enough for retirement? How do I get out of debt? Am I making enough to support my lifestyle? Am I going to be all right?
Feeling anxious? The complexities of our world can get a little overwhelming sometimes. Sometimes we need a simple reminder that we are valued, treasured, and cared for.
You have inestimable value.
Your life is of far more importance than anything you can acquire or put into it. As Jordan reminded us, at the end of the day, being anxious adds nothing of value to your life. It doesn’t add even a single hour (Matthew 6:27).
Why do we do it? We worry, we fear, we get anxious and forget to trust. We turn on ourselves and hate who we are, and belittle the value that has been placed there by our Creator.
But that is not life to the fullest as God has intended through Christ. The passage reminds us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt. 6:33). It’s a reminder for me that no matter what options are presented before me, and no matter the choices I worry about making, God cares for me throughout, and if I set my focus on him, seeking his kingdom first, I will see the things that I worry and fret about fade with each passing day.
If we have the perspective that God does not care for us and does not provide for us, then we will make choices, financially or otherwise, that reflect that belief. When our values are not aligned with God’s kingdom, we find giving challenging and tithing impossible.
But the opposite is true the more that we begin to trust God and seek him out in all that we do. He wants us to be free from anxiety. He also will provide for us like any good dad would for his kids. As we declare that over our lives, and set our focus on who he is and the values of the kingdom, I pray that we will not only see the change in our hearts and minds but that we will also see breakthrough in the area of anxiety.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
About the Author: Gabby hails from Waco, Tx where she received her undergraduate degree in social work. She calls herself a Michigander now, and is excited for the next adventure with God in Ann Arbor and Detroit! Geography is her favorite subject, and as the American daughter of Filipino immigrants, she is no stranger to a diversity of food, culture and travel. You can often find her at the local rock wall, hitting the pavement around Ypsi/A2 or, her favorite, getting quality time with good friends.