The Command Not To Worry
“Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.” Luke 12:22 NKJV
If we believe that the Bible means what it says then this is a verse that few take seriously. For if we believed what it says we would live our lives differently. We live as though Jesus did not mean this, but He clearly says to His disciples that they are not to be worried about the things of life. We read this verse and it seems so much at odds with the reality of our life. We live our life as though this was a quaint admonition from Jesus’ day, as though it is not possible for us to expect that we could live like that today. No one could really expect us to live without being concerned and worried about things like our work, our kids, our finances, our schedule and all of the things that cause us to reach such excessive degrees of anxiety. Could they? Could Jesus mean that? Well, it is what He said and it is what He expects of each of us.
Please note that it was not just a mere suggestion that Jesus offered to them, and in effect to us. Jesus said plainly “do not” referring to the cares and anxieties that surround us daily. The things of this life are not to cause you any trouble or concern; there are no exceptions, just a clear defining of what He expected of them and us. Wow, when you think of it in those terms you realize that we are off the mark most of the time. We feel justified in our worries about health, finances, families and so many other things. This verse makes it clear that we are not justified in those worries. In fact, we are in disobedience to His direct command. So if you find it impossible not to worry about life, then take heart. Jesus would never command us to do something that would be impossible for us to do. If worry is an issue in your life this should strengthen your hope to overcome that hindrance to your daily life. If He expects it from us then He will empower us to accomplish it.
How do we avoid those worries that so easily overtake us every day? Remember that we are told to release those concerns to Jesus, to give them over to Him. In 1 Peter 5:7 it says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”. We are to cast our cares upon Him and trust that He is faithful always to do as He promised in meeting our needs. If we obsess with worry, we are blinded to this truth about life and won’t walk in the fullness of life that He desires for us. This is all Jesus is saying. “The Father has good things that He has established for you and He wants you to have all that He has provided, in His abundance”.
What do you feel justified in worrying about today? Remember His command and let of go those fears and anxieties. Stop obsessing over the things of life and bring your focus instead to a healthy concentration on Jesus.
J Todd Hostetler