“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
Martha serves as an illustration for why we should not worry and be anxious about the everyday affairs of this life, but sadly we all get caught up with it. We get so busy at work, home and with church that we hardly seem to take time out to meet with the Lord, and then we wonder why our spiritual life is so weak. It was not the fact that Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet that annoyed Martha, instead she got herself so wound up with duties that she was unwilling to receive from Jesus. In this two part study we will look at what we worry about and the remedy for it.
We worry about ourselves
The biggest worry we all have is not about others but about our own health and wealth. The first muscle twinge or leg cramp and we think we have only a short time to live. We worry about food and fashion, but why? So what if we cannot afford the choicest cuts of meat or the latest fashion accessory? So what if others talk about us because we dress in the same clothes we wore last year? Is all this anxiety not a sign of a lack of faith?
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:25-33).
We must not allow ourselves to become preoccupied with trying to acquire the necessities of life. The media warned us that food and fuel prices would increase during 2013, but we are still alive and making ends meet! So what was all the worry for? Our Father knows all about the economy and will continue to bless us with what we need. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).
We worry about the future
With each new prediction of national poverty and hardship we tend to become as gloomy as the financial outlook, but why do we not trust in the God we claim to serve? Then there are the fears which the government and the media promote regarding pensions and savings. Will our bank survive to protect our money? Think about all those TV commercials that warn you against not having enough money set aside for your funeral or hospital bills. Here is a typical clause in such policies, “The cash sum paid out could be less than the total amount you’ve paid in premiums and the value of the lump sum will be reduced by inflation.“So according to them, you have to worry about your death and the money you are giving the insurance company. Worrying about the future is probably the most soul-destroying and mind-numbing preoccupations known to man, yet it is touted as wisdom.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34).
As Christians we ought to leave our lives to the one who knows “the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10). Most of us get caught up in the rut of work-eat-sleep-work. We do the same thing day in and day out, and we cannot see anything fresh and new on the horizon. We have bought into a bleak future. Sometimes the realities of life in this world get us down, but we have a bright day dawning. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we can trust in the one who does. “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).
We worry about evildoers
We worry about our homes being burgled, our cars broken into, and being attacked on the street. The more we possess, the more we worry. In fact castles in the Middle Ages were not as secure as our homes today. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Maybe we get ourselves worked up over the greedy bankers, corrupt politicians, the crafty fuel suppliers and others who con people. We know that they have always existed, and will do as long as this present earth remains, so why do we allow their evil deeds to depress us?
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be” (Psalm 37:7-10).
The word for “fret” in Hebrew means ‘burn with anger and contempt’. What a waste of time that is on our part! Those who are robbing others to make themselves rich are not going to get away with it forever, and ultimately they will have to stand before God Almighty.
Here we have a brief insight into the futility of worry and anxiety, for not only does it rob us of today’s joy, it will rob us of tomorrow’s peace. We have hinted at some of the remedies for worry and fear, but this will be developed further in the next part of the study. Let us remember that the time we waste worrying could be better spent praying, for worry has never achieved anything good.