Jesus used small words that were easy for simple people like me to understand.
Matthew 6:34 is a perfect example:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I wish these words were more convoluted, more complicated. They’re not. They’s just straight-forward, simple words that I cannot possibly dodge. As is often the case with Jesus’ words, they smack me right between the eyes. If I didn’t know the One who spoke them, and His heart, they might even offend me. Let’s face it, they often do.
Go back and read Matthew 6:25-34. Whenever we see a “therefore” in Scripture, we have to stop and ask what it’s “there for”. That’s old and cheesy. I know. But it’s true. That said, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a revolutionary new way of life that would someday soon become attainable for His followers. Being God who became man, He knew exactly what made us tick. He knew all of our anxieties, our fears and our worries, and He addressed them here. Instead of fretting about how we will make it through each day, Jesus asks us to make an exchange, giving up our useless efforts.
The summary of His words are…
“…do not worry about tomorrow,”
Why should we worry about what hasn’t happened yet? We cannot control it! Sure, we have to be responsible, doing our best to with what we’ve been entrusted with. Beyond that, however, we cannot control the future. Jesus, being both finite and infinite at once, knew of what He spoke. He never advocated irresponsibility, telling us to throw up our hands and say, “Well, what can I do? I might as well just sit here and do nothing.” Instead, He recommended trust in the One who holds the future in His hands.
I’d like to ask you these questions about your life:
- How much time and energy do you spend worrying about the future?
For me, it’s more than I’d care to admit. Be honest. What does it look like for you?
- What would happen today if you could replace all of your worries with trust of your Father in Heaven?
I would feel 20 pounds lighter, like a burden had been lifted off of my shoulders. It would dramatically improve the quality of my life. I know this, yet I find the temptation to worry about tomorrow a daily, moment-by-moment choice. I am growing in this discipline of constantly choosing Jesus’ “new and living way”, but I’ve got a long way to go. That’s why I’m glad His Word is in written form. I can go back to it again and again.
- How often are Jesus’ words offending you?
I would suggest that if they’re not, you’re not paying attention. His words were, and still are, revolutionary. Perhaps it’s time to pause, to reflect on Jesus’ life-disturbing, life-giving words. Start by picking a Gospel, maybe even a reading plan, then make your way through it one phrase, one verse at a time, contemplating what the Savior of the world is saying about life, death, and the resurrection power He promises.
If you do, you’ll be able to live a life without worry, lust, hate, and all the other things that bog you down.