Summary: What does worry accomplish for us? Nothing. It robs us. It robs our joy, our peace, our patience, our ability to trust and rely on God. It robs our ability to think rationally and find solutions to our problems. No wonder Jesus tells us to not worry.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (part 17)
I did a sermon a couple of years ago titled, Be in the Now. It's about being in the moment. One of the points I made involved the extended version of the Serenity Prayer. In it, we see this line, "Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace". "Enjoying one moment at a time". This isn't just, be in the now, this is, enjoy the now.
How often do we not enjoy the moment because we're focused on something else? Worry moves us away from being in the now. We're worried about tomorrow's meeting or how we're going to pay that bill. So when you're at a fun event or even just sitting at home being around your family you're not enjoying the moment because your mind is on something else.
The be here now mindset allows me to make the most of it. If I'm worried I cannot enjoy one moment at a time because I'm worrying one moment at a time. What does worry accomplish for us? Nothing. It robs us. It robs our joy; it robs our peace. Worry robs our ability to trust and rely on God. It robs our ability to think rationally and find solutions to our problems. It steals our patience in waiting for God to move in his perfect timing.
No wonder Jesus tells us to not worry. Let's see what he has to say about it.
1) Don't worry.
Matt. 6:25, “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?"
"Therefore". Jesus connects the previous passage about not focusing on building up treasures on earth with this one on worry. And it makes sense. One of the reasons I'm so focused on building up treasures on earth is because I'm worried about getting or keeping or having enough material things. But Jesus tells me not to worry about these things.
Notice he lists the most basic things-food and clothing. We can't manage without food and clothing. We need food and water to live and we can't go around naked. Well, we could but in my case it wouldn't be too pretty.
Jesus asks us two rhetorical questions, 'Isn't life more important than food and the body more important than clothes?' What does he mean? What could be more important than having the most basic necessities? He's talking about the spiritual. Our lives are more than just the physical. Our bodies are more than what we clothe them with.
Think about it-people can be very focused on food and clothing. We love to go to restaurants and are willing to spend a lot of money eating out. We simply enjoy a good meal and are willing to pay for it.
And we live in a culture where people can be defined by what they wear. The better dressed I am the better I feel and the better I'll be treated. ZZTop-'cause every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man'. So, we Americans can fixate on these things and worry about them.
But even if it's not in a luxury sense, Jesus still doesn't want us worrying about them; even if we don't know where our next meal is coming from or if we have one set of clothes to our name. If it's the end of the month and the fridge is empty, we can easily find ourselves worried about that. If winter's coming up and we don't have proper clothing, we could worry about that. Consider Jesus' example.
Matt. 4:1-4, "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Satan wanted Jesus to focus only on the physical. But Jesus highlights the spiritual component. He quotes from Deut. 8.
Duet. 8:1-4, "Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years."