And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
I don’t worry about when I’m going to die. I don’t sit and fret about basic needs. I get to live firmly in middle-class America: full stomach, access to medical care, warm home, and quality clothing. The water I drink is from a deliciously clean well.
So my American, Western Hemisphere brain doesn’t think this verse applies to me. Sure, I've read this passage in Matthew enough to have memorized it, but more often than not I just skim it.
God, I’m not worrying about my life span. I’m worrying about getting to work on time. I’m anxious about that phone call I have to make. I’m stressing because I have approximately 7,534 items on my To Do list and only two free hours in which to do them.
I’m not worried about the length of my life, Lord. I’m worried about ridiculously stupid (let’s be honest) things.
I’ve been thinking a lot about worry lately. I feel like it takes up too much of my time. Too much of my precious brain space. I’m a champ at going over scenarios in my head. How will this conversation play out? In what order should I carry out the tasks of the day?
Efficiency and planning are all well and good. These are gifts God has given me. But sometimes I use these gifts as idols and not the tools for which God intended them.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (emphasis mine)
So many times the thoughts in my brain, my worry and anxiety, are sinful. I don’t stress for my good. I stress because I worship my control. I stress because in my striving to control any and all situations, my control has become an idol. An idol to myself; that I think my way is always the best way.
See, how I should be reading Matthew 6:27 is this:
And which of you by being anxious can fix any issue you have?
Jesus is saying worry isn't any good, no matter what you're worrying about. Food, clothing, phone calls, planning. It won't make anything better. In fact, if Jesus says not to worry and then you worry, that's sin. Your worry is telling God that He isn't powerful enough to care for you in the big and in the little issues of life.
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God,
and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
He has shown me how to plan without worry. How to manage without obsession.
When I have done my daily tasks, let me rest in thoughts of true, lovely, and commendable things.
Let me let go of thoughts that hold me captive.
And let my thoughts be captive to Christ.