Summary: Today we will deal with the topic of worry. Many people are walking around today "worried sick" and are unable to experience the joy of the Lord. The question we are looking at today is Lord, how can I overcome worry?
“This Message is for the Birds”
Matthew 6: 25-34
We come to our 2nd question that you have asked this morning in our series of Questions we would like to ask God. This passage intrigues me because it is no surprise that Jesus starts teaching on the subject of worry right after He has just spoken on the subject of money. Worry and money seem to go together for many people. But in this passage Jesus addresses worry in general. Not just about money but about everything.
All of us have worries. Yours are not the same as mine; mine are not the same as yours but we all have them. Pastors sometimes worry about their Sunday sermon (1) we worry that we might not have something to say that will be helpful to someone (2) we worry we might not have something new/fresh to say (3) we worry that we might preach too long and that we might not say enough or that the message is clear to us but won’t be to the congregation. Or we will put people to sleep. Or we worry that when we give the invitation no one will respond.
A young woman in college wrote the following letter, but I didn’t want you to worry about the fire in the dorm and my concussion, which happened when I fell out of the window trying to escape. I’ve been eager to tell you about the nice man from the 7-11 around the corner who took care of me until the ambulance arrived. I’m out of the hospital now and feel great now that I am living with the fellow from the 7-11in his room over the garage. I know that you will be happy to know that I really care about him and that you will soon be grandparents. In closing, let me tell you to stop worrying. There was no fire, I didn’t fall out of the window, I didn’t have a concussion, I am not living with anyone and you are not going to be grandparents. I told you all of those things because I made a “D” in Biology and an “F” in history and I just wanted you to put that into perspective.
Jesus spoke on the topic of worry and money because He was trying to help us get some perspective on what is really important. You see that’s what we worry about usually are the things that really matter…now I know that isn’t a very profound statement but I want you to understand that most of us have let too many things that really are not that important…consume us.
So we look for advice. And there is always plenty of advice and plenty of free advice. Some of it goes like this…..
Don’t worry..…be happy.
Don’t worry…just stop thinking about your problems. Think about something else.
Don’t worry…everything will be fine. All of those statements share at least one thing in common. They don’t help. They don’t work.
Let me say that in this life you will never conquer worry completely. But we do need to learn to manage it because if we don’t it will manage us.
Let’s begin with a definition. When I look up the word worry Webster defines it as anxiety. When I look up the word anxiety he defines it as “to be worried.” Worry and anxiety are very connected. People worry so much that many people today suffer from what are now called anxiety attacks.” Or maybe you will identify with this definition of stress I read this week. Stress is that feeling when our mind overrides the body’s basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some jerk who desperately deserves it. Interesting definition because the English word worry comes from 2 words that mean to choke or to strangle.
One more. When used in the scripture this word worry means to have a divided mind. That one I understand. That’s exactly what worry does to me. It causes me to have a divided mind. Know what I mean?
So let me ask you and I want you to write it down in your notes right now. What are you worried about right now more than anything? More than anything else, what’s on your list? For the most part when I speak to people about their worries there is usually one of four areas they begin to speak about. See if one of these is the word you just wrote down.
1. Loss of a job? Income. Money. Will I have enough? Will anyone ever have enough? If you get a little more will that be enough?
2. Along those same lines, but more specific…..how we will make a certain payment? The car payment, the house payment or progress energy. These things matter and they are essential so we worry.