There is a difference between thinking out solutions to a problem and worrying about the problem. One is good but one can never make you productive. When you encounter challenges in life, it is good to spend time thinking of solutions rather than living in worry.
Worry simply means to fret over problems and anxieties. This happens when you give way to anxiety. The problem is that we always choose to worry whenever we encounter challenges. Instead of thinking out solutions, We choose to allow our minds to dwell on the difficulties and troubles.
What this does to us is to keep us depressed and fearful. Today, Jesus tells his hearers not to worry about life, about what to eat and about tomorrow.
There are many reasons we should avoid living in worry, which we can glean from the gospel of today. The reasons are:
1. We Are Not Slaves to Worry.
In today’s gospel, Jesus says to His disciples: ‘No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and money”.
In the statement following, Jesus says that this is the reason He is telling them not to worry about their lives and what they are to eat, also about the body and how they are to clothe it.
In essence, what makes people worry a lot is due to lack. What Jesus is saying here is that whatever occupies our mind often tends to control us and we become the slave of whatever controls us. Therefore, living in worry makes us slaves to worry.
2. It is a command.
When Jesus says Do not worry, He is not making it a probability. It is a command to all of us who are His disciples. Such command demands obedience from us.
When you go through the bible, you can never find a single place God tells anyone to worry. But you will have several passages and verses that God warns against living in worry. (Philippians 4:6-7, John 14:1, Mark 13:11 etc). Rather He will tell you to live in faith or cast all your anxieties to Him (1 Peter 5:7).
3. Worry is Useless.
St. Padre Pio says that ” the time we use in worrying is as useless as anything useless in this world”. Useless denotes worthlessness, incapability, unimportant etc.
The time we spend in worry is worthless both physically and spiritually. In the bible, the phrase “Do not worry” is repeated up to 40 times. In the gospel, Jesus says “Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life?
Therefore, living in Worry yields nothing positive, God even hates it, the time we spend in worry should be intensified with prayers, thinking out solutions and working them out. Instead of living your life in worry, use it and think the way out of your problems.
Sometimes when bad things happen to us, we become depressed and worry about what might befall us. We worry about what the future holds for us. This yields nothing but depression. Worry has not yielded anything positive before and will never yield anything positive.
In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, remember that in verse 22, Jesus interprets that The seeds that fall among the thorns are those who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the constant distraction of wealth choke the word, thereby making it unfruitful. So, living in worry can never make you fruitful, but keep you useless.
4. It shows a lack of trust in God.
Trust is nothing but confidence in the ability of somebody to do something for you. It is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something over a particular situation.
When Jesus tells us that No one can be the slave of two masters, it means that the only person who is supposed to be controlling our affairs is God.
So, when we worry about problems, it means that we do not truly trust in the power of God to control them. Living in worry is simply a sign of lack of trust in God.
5. It is a Sign of Unbelief.
In the bible, many passages of bible ask us not to worry. In today’s gospel too, Jesus asks us not to worry. Therefore living in worry is a sign that we do not accept or believe what God says about living in worry.
It is like God telling you “do not worry my son/daughter, I will take care of you”. You reply “No God, this problem is too much for me, I have to worry, I do not believe what you say”.
In today’s gospel, Jesus asks “if that is how God clothes the grass which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will He not look after you, you men of little faith?”
So, He sees it as a sign of little faith when we worry. Therefore, it is good to live in faith rather than living in worry. To believe in God goes with trust and acceptance of whatever God says.
6. God still Cares for You.
When a problem comes, we may think that God has abandoned us. Yet in the midst of the problem, we may not know that He is still controlling the situation.
In the gospel of today, Jesus points to the birds and the flowers as points of reference. Jesus says that although the birds do not sow or reap, yet God cares for them. How much more can He do for us?
Also, Flowers do not work or spin but yet God clothes them in fine regalia. I remind us again what He says that “if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will He not much more look after you..?
Let us know that God still takes care of us despite how problematic the situations may look like. So, living in worry is forgetting that God cares for you.
7. You Are God’s Valued Asset.
God didn’t create us for creating purposes. God has a mission for all of us. He will continue to lead you until you reach that destination. Going through the destination you may pass through a lot of challenges.
This is where many lose faith easily. We are God’s valued asset. He cherishes us. This is the reason Jesus asks today that if God can take care of the birds and the flowers, what of you, who is worth more than them.
Therefore, we are worth more to God. When you are tempted to live in worry, remind the worry of your worth. God created us to defeat circumstances and not for circumstances to defeat us.
8. It is the pagans who set their hearts on all These Things.
Categorically in today’s gospel, Jesus says “do not say, “What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?” and He concludes that It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Thereby a sign of an unbeliever.
Living in worry is a sign of someone who may be going to church, reading daily breakfast with the word, but does not still believe in God. Hence what Jesus is saying is that a true believer sets His heart on God and not on the problem. You can watch my youtube video on that here
9. Your Heavenly Father knows you need them all.
In Matthew 6:8, Jesus says that God knows your heart even before You come to Him in prayer. He knows that you are in need. He knows that you are in trouble. Let us always understand this.
God understands our situations more than we understand them. So, instead of living in worry, always remind your spirit that God is the one in charge and not the problem.
10. Worry is never the solution but God is.
To stay in worry is never a solution to any problem. Instead of keeping yourself in worry, bring God into your problem and set your heart on Him. Then work out your way through His inspiration, guidance and grace.
There is nowhere in the bible, God tells us to focus on the Problem. Rather, He says “Set your hearts on His kingdom first, and on His righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. We have a loving God who is ready to save you, dearest.
Set your heart on Him first, create a loving relationship with Him and make Him happy, then always Approach Him and Work out your salvation.
11. No One Knows Tomorrow.
Living in worry is like saying that you are the one in charge of your life. Living in worry is like saying you are the one who determines what happens tomorrow. The truth is that tomorrow is always pregnant. No one knows tomorrow.
What we worry about today can be something of the past tomorrow. In the gospel today, Jesus says “do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will always take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.
This does not mean we have to fold our hands doing nothing, but it means that we cannot determine what can happen tomorrow.
Many people before thought they would never get married, some have concluded that they can never give birth, they can never be healed, their business would never stand, while some thought they would not get a promotion, a job, or be given admission into the university. But today they have discovered that yesterday and today are not the same.
So, do not worry because tomorrow may be better than you think. Only continue to live in faith, work and keep ongoing. What you worry about today will one day be a thing of the past.
Living in worry is as useless as anything useless in the world. Instead of helping you, it destroys you and makes you sick.
God does not even support it and will never support it. We are the people who always choose to live in it. Therefore, avoid living in worry, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
May God bless you dearest and give you the grace to overcome all your problems and challenges. Amen.