Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 12:22-34 (NIV)

Life can easily become filled with plenty of worries. The older a person gets, the more there seems to worry about. Some worries are practical such as having shelter, food, and warmth. Other worries are about people like our spouse, our children, and our friends. We can be concerned about financial matters. Our jobs can cause us to worry, things like are we performing well enough, how secure is our position, or will our company survive an economic downtown. All of these worries can cause us to lie awake at night in our beds. Then we worry about being too sleepy to be productive the next day.

Jesus had something to say about worrying. He tells his disciples not to worry because God provides what we need. Worrying does not add anything to our lives Jesus says. Afterall, we cannot do much about these things. Instead of worrying, what we can do is place our focus on God and God’s kingdom. If we place our focus on God and follow God’s direction, Jesus tells us that God will provide a way for us to receive what we need.

The advice Jesus gives here has two elements which are important to hold on to as we interpret his words. The first is the difference between wants and needs. Most of the time we worry about what we want and not what we need. God knows what we need and promises to have that covered. The other important element to keep in mind is that Jesus is not advocating laziness. God is not going to just drop everything in our laps. God will provide the way for us to receive but we must be willing to make the effort to follow that way and obtain what is being provided.

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