Questions Jesus Asked # 6

Matthew 6:28-30 –  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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, O you of little faith?  NIV

Again we are dealing with the passage in the Sermon on the Mount about what we tend to worry. Jesus tells his listeners not to worry about food and clothing.  These are basic needs which much of the world has trouble getting. When many Americans hear this question, we think that Jesus is talking about styles and what’s in fashion. So we tend to hear, “Why worry about being in style.” While that may be a great question for some of us who have lots of clothes, there are people who feel fortunate to have one or two changes of clothing.

There are lots of children who are continually growing and whose parents have difficulty keeping them in clothes. There are foster children who have all their clothes in plastic suitcase (garbage bag). There are people in the third world who have the clothes on their back. Jesus’ question to His original listeners was probably addressed to people similar to the people above rather than people like many of us who have lots to wear… stylish or not.  They did worry about what they would eat and if they would have enough clothes to keep warm.  Jesus’ focus here is to encourage them to trust their Heavenly Father for their provision.  We would all do well to consider God as our source, and live life from that perspective. We often consider many other things as our source: our abilities, government, and possibly other people or communities that we know.   After asking the questions, Jesus goes on to say:

 Matthew 6:31-36 – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NIV

I have discovered that when I focus on seeking His kingdom first, I have what I need and many times what I want. However, it’s not always easy to do.

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Questions Jesus Asked # 5

Matthew 6:27 –  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  NIV

The literal translation of this verse is “can add a single cubit (18 inches) to his height?”  Either way, the answer seems to be that none of us can add to our height or add to our life by worry. I think that there have been studies that have shown constant that anxiety tends to shorten our lives.

The KJV translates “worrying” as “taking thought,” which can be confusing. Does this mean that we are not to think about anything?  Does this me that God does not want us to consider the consequences of our actions? I don’t believe so.  I think that this “taking thought” is excessive pondering over something, possibly always expecting the worst outcome of a situation or worst possible scenario.

The way I tend to deal with something that is bothering me is to do what I can a track down. I track down what specifically is bothering me, and then I ask myself some questions: Is there anything that I can or need to do about this situation? If there is, then what is my first step?  If there isn’t anything I can do about the situation, then I need to take it to God and give it to Him. That does not preclude my taking it to Him if there is something I can do about it. One of my favorite messages on this passage was “Why Pray When You Can Take Pills and Worry?”

Some people seem to think that it I their role in life to worry about their problems and everyone problems that they know; but I can’t live well like that. There are many things in this life over which we have no control. And worrying about them will certainly not add to the length or quality of our life.  It doesn’t mean that we are not to be concerned about doing what is right; but many times there is nothing we can do ourselves. We need to put ourselves into God’s hands and trust Him.