I’ve known from Philippians 4:6 “not to be anxious about anything,” and today’s passage from Luke 12 drives home the point:
- “Do not be anxious about your life…” (vs. 22)
- “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (vs. 25)
- “… why are you anxious about the rest?” (vs. 26)
- “And do not seek what you are to eat and … drink, nor be worried.” (vs. 29)
- “Fear not, little flock…” (vs. 32)
Jesus says it as plainly as Paul: we should NOT be anxious, worried, fearful.
Jesus tells his followers not to worry about their clothing, food, drink – the basics. “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (vs. 31). That verse always comforted me because I knew no matter how bad life got, God would still provide the basics for me. Nothing to worry about there.
What’s cool is that though God tells us to “seek” his kingdom, he says “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” What we seek, we will find!
The kingdom is our treasure and when we seek – and find it – nothing much else will matter. Our heart will be there. So we can lose all of our possessions and still have all we ever wanted.
Well, even though it appears Jesus is telling us not to worry about the basics, I think the injunction not to worry goes beyond the basics. It includes not worrying about time or death – that we can’t add an hour to our lives.
So if we aren’t to worry about food or death or time or anything in between, I think that pretty much takes us back to Paul’s blanket command in Philippians: “do not be anxious for anything.”
No reason EVER to be anxious about anything. ANYTHING!
I worry about work. I worry about people at work. I worry about getting things done at home. I worry about my girls. I worry about not getting things I desire. I worry about friendships.
What’s the antidote to worry in these verses? Focus on the kingdom.
When I feel anxiety, if I stop to consider its root, I usually discover in some way I either don’t trust God’s love for me or I want something more than Him. I worry about things when they in some way mean more to me than my heart’s true treasure – the King.
Knowing that the King loves me, has a perfect plan for me, will give me the basics, can guide and provide wisdom as required, and works out my good even through tough circumstances – all of this helps me get perspective and ward off worry.
Gotta keep remembering that Jesus and Paul said, DO NOT WORRY!!
Dear Lord: I’m not terribly anxious at this moment, but earlier today I felt that rumbling in my stomach that signals anxiety. Help me to know what it is, take it to You, and seek your kingdom once more. Amen