Worn by Worry

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“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:25-33 (ESV)

The act of worrying begins and ends in the mind. And our minds are so smart that they can even create things for us to worry about. Have you ever been there? Jesus lists a few items in verse 25 of Matthew 6 that are considered basic necessities. Jesus isn’t just telling us not to worry about our nice car, the newest phone, or affording the next family vacation. I heard a phrase once that referred to concerns like these as ‘first world problems’. He goes much deeper than that. Jesus says don’t even worry about the things you need!

Some translations of this passage use “anxious” and others use “worried”. The English word “worry” comes from the old English Wrygen and the Old High German Wurgen, both meaning “To Strangle or Choke”. It’s no wonder that worry and anxious thought have a horribly negative effect on our bodies. We don’t even need science to prove it to us because we can feel the life, vitality, peace, and joy being drained out of us when we are worried. Our health and wholeness is literally strangled out of us bit by bit. There is not a single part of a person’s body that is not affected by worry. It doesn’t stop there either. Anxiety and worry one person’s life will carry over to affect others.

If we claim allegiance to Christ then that should change absolutely everything for us. We cease to exist as we were. The entire point of being a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:3, and many in others) is that our lives will be completely consumed with Him. The problem is, we still think about ourselves way too much and give far too much room in our lives to things that are not about Him. It’s no wonder we don’t think about Him like we should. It becomes very hard to live from our new identity when we live like we don’t have one. But, our new identity is key to having peace rather than anxiety. The new person is focused on the Eternal One and eternal things.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

Come read more about how Jesus wants to set us free from a life of worry. In chapter 8, I share some of my story of an anxious filled life and how I’ve been saved from it. Get your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Thanks for reading!

Peace brothers and sisters

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