The Problem of Worry: Part 1
By: Mike Stokes
This problem is as old as humanity itself, so, it is not surprising that Christ is addressing it in the first century. Our minds are often weary, and our spirit weighted down with worry. Our worry from yesterday, add to anxiety of the uncertainty of tomorrow. It is practically useless to say to a chronic worrier, “Don’t worry.” Some try to hide their worry by giving it another name: Concern, anxiety, troubled, disturbed, or bothered; but when all is said and done, it is usually just worry.
Worry tends to fall into three categories: 1) Worry about death (ours or love ones); 2) Worry over guilt (even things already confessed); 3) Worry about daily problems, related to: People, finances, possessions, education, vocation, and even avocation.
The question is, what does the Bible say about worry? The word ‘worry’ does not appear in the KJV of the Bible, however the concept does; words that convey the thought are: Anxious, care, cumbered, careful, troubled, and concern. In (Matthew 6: 25-34) Christ uses the term, “Take no thought” (anxious), which conveys the concept of worry, used five times in this passage. The conclusions he comes to are as valid today as in the first century.
Just by taking a cursory glance at this passage in Matthew 6, we discover that:
1) Worry keeps us from enjoying what we have.
“Is not life more than food and clothes” (v25). Worry focuses on things we don’t have, undermining what we already have. Essentially he is saying, ‘don’t worry about things.’
2) Worry makes us forget our worth.
“Are you not worth …” (v26). Worry makes us forget God is the heavenly father of people, not birds. The assumption here is ‘If he will feed the birds, surly he will feed and take care of us.’
3) Worry is completely useless.
“Which of you by taking thought, “ (Worry), can add to their lifespan, or increase their height (v27). It is accurate to say that worry results in subtraction, not addition, when we worry about things we cant change.
Next time, we will explore more details about–The Problem of Worry.