Anxiety is a funny thing. Now I’m not talking about simple concern. Some anxiety I think is good. It builds up an awareness that there are some dangerous things in the world and some things you should avoid. I don’t think it’s a sin, for instance, for a girl to not want to walk down a dark alley at night alone. (For that matter, I don’t think many guys should do that either.)
As we go through the Sermon on the Mount though, we are at the part about anxiety. Jesus tells us at the end of Matthew 6 to not worry. I don’t believe he’s talking about caution and concern though. Those are good things. Caution keeps us from doing many stupid things and concern can often be what drives us to prayer.
Neither of those leave God out of the equation.
Worry is assuming that things will not go right and there is no solution and it’s hopeless. We’re odd creatures really. We all tend to spend so much time worrying. It never helps the situation in any way. It doesn’t help us get closer to a problem. It in fact hinders us from solving a problem because our mind is in a state of fear instead of rationality.
How many times have you been worrying about something and afraid and simply a conversation with a friend who may not have even had some brilliant insight you wouldn’t have got from anyone else has helped you out? If you’re like me, it’s happened several times. Even if you don’t have the “problem solved” for some reason, you realize how silly you’re being.
Christ tells us not to worry. God is in the habit of taking care of his creation. Look at birds. They don’t store up in nests, but yet, they get cared for. Look at lilies in the field. They are more beautiful than the richest king of all in their appearance, and yet, they will be thrown into the fire tomorrow. Yet they get clothed!
Aren’t you worth more than these?
We need to remember that in Christian thought, humans are more valuable. Now I’m a cat lover. Many guys aren’t, but I am. We have a cat outside our apartment and I felt so sorry for the little fellow yesterday as it was raining and I heard him meowing as soon as I got out of my car. I could only pet him. I couldn’t do anything else.
Yet as much as I might adore a cat and want to help them out, I also have to remember that on God’s chain, I am more important. This is something to all the animal rights’ activists that we have today. In our environmental concerns, we often want to try to treat everything as equal and if you think humans are better, you’re a speciesist.
Of course, this doesn’t discount the goodness of these things. These things are not on the level of humanity. We are the rulers of the creation. We are not to abuse it, but we are to use it. Creation serves us. We do not serve it. Christ would have us keep something like that in mind in remembering that if creation can trust that it will be provided for, shouldn’t we?
He’s right also. Worrying will not make the problem go away and it misses a reality. God knows what we need. As I write this, I have to keep this in mind. I have bills for school and bills for the dentist and for a short time, I’m going to be between jobs. Part of me enjoys it though as it means that now I have to rely on God more and I have to trust him more.
Instead, I am to seek the kingdom. If I am seeking God, then what have I to fear? Those who truly seek, do truly find. I found myself telling a friend something similar tonight. We have to want truth. We have to want reality. We have to want it on God’s terms and not ours. Too often, we want to act as if the world functioned according to our wishes. We can’t. It doesn’t. We have to realize this is God’s world and not ours.
Worry not Christian. Trust in God. He knows the beginning from the end. Remember that all things will work together for good to those that love him. If that’s true, and you love him, what have you to really worry about?