Do Not Be Anxious

In the final 10 verses of Matthew 6, Jesus tells us three different times, “Do not be anxious.”

He must really mean it if He says it that many times. 

Yes, He truly wants His followers to live without anxiety and worry over the circumstances of their lives.

Let’s take a closer look at what Jesus says. The first occurrence of this command says,

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Matthew 6:25a

The words are plain and simple—don’t worry. 

However, we need to go back and look at the verses immediately before this one because of the word “Therefore.” Whenever we see this word, we need to see what it is said just before it.

Verse 24 says, 

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

In my opinion, this is one of the most important verses in the Bible, especially for those of us who have been taught that more is better and that having a well-paying career is what defines success. 

This verse shows us that we need to put God in His proper place in our lives. He must be #1—above everything else, including money and career.

When we make God the most important thing in our lives, then we can be assured verse 25 will be true for us—we can live life without worry and anxiety.

God will feed us and clothe us, just as he does the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. We are much more important to Him than they are, so He will surely take care of us, just as He does them. 

The next command not to worry comes just a few verses down:

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?

Matt. 6:31

Once again, Jesus tells us not to worry ourselves unnecessarily over having enough to eat or drink. He even goes on to tell us in verse 32 that God already knows we need these things.

He will supply us because He wants us to have the necessities of life. He says that the people who don’t know God spend their time chasing after these things and worrying about them. 

As believers in Christ, we can be assured that God will supply our needs. That’s not to say that things will always be easy, as life is not always fun, but we can trust that God is taking care of us.

Finally, in verse 34 Jesus tells us for the final time not to worry:

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

There’s that word “therefore” again, so we must back up a verse to find out what is stated there.

Verse 33 says,

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Each day, God will supply our needs for that day. We must simply live out our faith one day at a time, trusting God for His provision.

So, to ensure that God will look after our needs, we need to work to advance His kingdom and strive to live a righteous life that honors Him. 

Of course, no one can live a completely righteous life. The whole reason that Jesus died for us was to make us righteous in the Father’s eyes—we’re unable to achieve this on our own. 

We’re imperfect humans at best. However, that is a topic for another time.

In this important chapter, we have learned what to do to have our needs met and to live anxiety-free and worry-free lives:

  1. Put God in the highest place in our lives—over money, career, and even our own families.
  2. Seek God’s kingdom first, doing His work here on earth and trying to live our lives according to His commands and guidance.

While some may say this is an oversimplification of a complex theological discussion, I disagree.

I believe the Bible was written so that even a small child can understand it. After all, later on in Matthew, Jesus says,

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 18:3

It’s up to us to forget about all the “extras” that we tend to add to the Gospel, and approach it with the simple faith of a child. 

Trust God. Obey God. Make Him the most important thing in your life. Then, you’ll have everything you need and you won’t have reason to worry. 

You will have placed your life right where it needs to be—in His strong hands.

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