After telling His disciples that they cannot serve both God and money, He instructed them, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. … So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matt. 6:25-34).
In our world, predicated upon anxiety and worry (think about the news), Jesus’ words seem ridiculous. Don’t worry? Don’t be anxious? It’s a statement seemingly disconnected from our reality. If I don’t take care of myself and provide for my family, who will? That’s the question that comes to us.
And in this, we confront the fact that our spirituality is different than Jesus’. Jesus’ words about worry did not depend upon the power of positive thinking or self-motivation. They rested in something outside of Himself: God. Not a God detached from human need, but rather, intimately concerned and connected with it. Why should we not be anxious about what we will eat or wear? Because our heavenly Father knows what we need, and He provides for our needs.
Jesus is not saying that God is a cosmic Santa Claus, who gives us what we want. No, He takes care of our daily needs, but He also expects something from us. Actually, two things: seek His kingdom and righteousness. Jesus’ listeners understood that we seek God’s kingdom, His rule and reign, by obedience to His commandments. “His righteousness” refers to our care for others around us by giving charity to them. In other words, our responsibility is to daily seek to obey God within our lives and care for those around us. God’s responsibility is to care for our daily needs. Therefore, don’t worry about what you will eat or wear because if you take care of others and obey God, He will take care of you. He is a good Father.
Worry happens when we focus on the future and lose sight of our responsibility seeking to take control of God’s. Don’t worry. Don’t be anxious. God’s got you. Relax.
Father, as we seek to obey You today in all we do and care for those around us, provide the things we have need of today. Be glorified in our lives. Amen.