One of the great Australian greetings is, "No worries!" The truth is, we do worry a lot. And let's face it, there is a lot to worry about. We can worry about our health, about our family, our relationships, our money, the weather, our career or job, whether our football team is going to make the finals, and about the future. Then, of course, there are all the global concerns - the economy, the environment, global warming, politics, and the growing threat of terrorism. That's a lot of worry fodder!
I have found that the more we worry, the worse we feel, then the worse we feel, the more we tend to worry. One worry feeds another. Out goes our joy. In many ways, worry is simply 'negative imagination'. It's like a downward spiral of anxiety, fear and concern, consuming a heap of our time and energy.
Jesus understood the daily challenges that we face and that's why in one of his well-known sermons ("the sermon on the mount") he spoke about worry.
Here is what he said (Matthew 6:25-34).
"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." NLT
Basically, Jesus says, if you are worrying ... STOP it!
How do we do that?
We will talk about that tomorrow in Part 2 ...