The Denial of Worry


When we worry we deny the love, power, presence, and provision of God in our lives. Our worry and our investments of time and money reveal where our hearts are.  And if they are not in heaven, we are still denying Jesus in favour of an empty self-sufficiency…

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:22-34

In the context of Luke 12, we see Jesus discussing with his followers that if they deny him, he will deny them.  And if they acknowledge him, he will acknowledge them before his Father.  After that, there is a question and a parable about riches and control, which is really an example of denying Jesus for sake of self and self-sufficiency.

Today we see that Jesus then moves on to the example of worry. We cannot add a single hour to our lives by worrying (vs. 25).  Jesus knows where we live.  He understands the human condition in the first century and the 21st century.  Consider his examples: “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”

We worry about life and death, having enough to eat, our bodies and body-image, and either having clothes to wear or the right clothes to wear.  These are 21st century issues, and yet Jesus is speaking in the first century.  Humanity doesn’t change much do we?

Worrying about any and all of this is a form of denying Jesus.  When we worry we deny the love, power, presence, and provision of God in our lives.  We fail to acknowledge that God is able and willing to care for us.  And so Jesus presents a better way:  Seek God.  Act in faith.

Practically, the person who acknowledges Jesus will not have difficulty selling his possessions and giving to the poor (vs. 33).  He will make investments in heavenly pursuits and in the lives of people God loves and is pursuing (vs. 33-34).  There will be a trust that even if I disadvantage myself to serve others, God will provide what I need.

Our worry and our investments of time and money reveal where our hearts are.  And if they are not in heaven, we are still denying Jesus.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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