The Cause of Worry, Stress and Anxiety: Matthew 6:25-34
““25) For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26) Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27) And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28) And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29) yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30) But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31) Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32) For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33) But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 34) So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭25-34
Jesus now addresses the root cause of worry, stress and anxiety. Different translations use the words worry and anxiety interchangeably. There are five basic fears that drive people. They are food, clothing, shelter, personal health and sexuality.
In the context, He makes it clear that we have a choice. We can either do our best and trust God as provider, or we can we can ignore God and live for self and things. Jesus is not implying that people should be lazy and not work, He is merely saying that people should not be consumed with the accumulation of things. Many who ignore God spend all their time, energy and resources hoarding these things and in the process they end up losing everything.
Jesus then sites the example of birds, flowers and plants. Does not God provide for them? They have no concept of worry, stress or anxiety. They merely focus on being birds, flowers and plants while God takes care of the rest. He gloriously cares for them and adorns them.
Why? What purpose do beautiful birds and flowers fulfill? Why isn’t the world merely black and white? Why all the brilliant colors? Why the breathtaking beauty of flowers and many birds? Even Solomon couldn’t adorn himself to compare to the magnificence of flower and exotic birds. It seems that God delights in order, design and beauty. He is glorified by what He has made!
But this begs the question, if God created flowers and exotic birds to glorify Himself, what was His purpose in creating mankind? The biblical answer is for fellowship and relationship with Himself. He wants this to be our primary focus.
1 Corinthians 6:13 is profound. In summary it says that even though we are sexual beings, God did not create us for immorality, He created us for Himself. He created us in His image to enjoy relationship with Himself. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we were created to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. But what happens to most people?
We get so distracted with the needs of our body we ignore the calling of our soul and spirit. We fret and worry about food, clothing, shelter, physical health and sexuality to the point of ignoring God and missing our high calling for which we were created!
We were created to walk and talk with God. We were created to enjoy the beauty and glory of His creation together with Him. We were created to host God in our spirit, which is His temple. Only mankind was created with this capacity. Flowers and exotic birds cannot host God or commune with Him. They cannot fellowship with God.
Matthew 6:33 now comes into focus; “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” I believe Jesus was saying; “When we make fellowshipping with God our highest priority for which we were created, He assumes responsibility as Provider to take care of our physical needs.” Instead of being consumed by worry, stress and anxiety, He wants to clothe us with the fruit of the Spirit as recorded in Galatians 5:22-23.
As Christians we have a choice. We can either live the worlds way or we can live Gods way. We can either focus on the needs and appetites of the body or we can focus on our high calling in the Spirit. We can live with worry, stress and anxiety or we can live with love, joy and peace. We can live by fear or by faith. We can let our light go out from fleshly concerns or we can shine and glow from spending time in the presence of God.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global