Matthew 6:25-34

Setting and Overview
Most people would probably agree that they worry too much, and would certainly agree that people in general tend to worry about things that we don’t need to, but we rarely recognize the degree to which worry is a choice and much less the fact that it is a sin. That is exactly what we see in Matthew 6:25-34, however. That is not to say that we shouldn’t be responsible, careful, and concerned, but that we should separate those biblical traits from the human one of worry. Understanding the difference between those is the key to following Jesus’ command in these verses, and realizing the blessings that come with such obedience.
 
Exposition
The “therefore” that opens verse 25 ties this section into the previous verses about materialism, helping us to recognize the type of worry that Jesus has in mind here, confirmed by the specific mention of the things that we eat, drink, and wear. Elsewhere, Scripture warns us against ignorance (I Peter 5:8-9), spiritual laziness (I Corinthians 9:24-27), irresponsibility (I Corinthians 7:32-34, I Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 6:6-8), indifference (II Corinthians 11:28, Philippians 2:20), and being sheltered from trouble (Romans 12:15.) So, we can understand that this exhortation is not to be from worry through embracing any of those traits, but rather despite being spiritually on guard, fully committed, fully responsible, fully passionate and compassionate, and on the front lines. Elsewhere we see the difference between worry and planning (I Peter 5:6-7, Philippians 4:6-7, Psalm 55:22) and warnings against distracting materialism (Luke 21:34, Matthew 13:22, Luke 10:40-42.)
To emphasize His point, Jesus gives several powerful arguments from lesser to greater. Since God takes care of birds and flowers, surely we can know that He will take care of us as well. Further, while planning and work are of value, worry itself never added time to anyone’s life, so it is critical for us to differentiate where we have crossed over from biblical concern to a dangerous worry. This is clearer in verses 32-33 where we are given the comparison of pursuing earthly things or the Kingdom. We may work to make sure that we have certain material needs met, but they can never be our overriding focus; that must always be obeying and serving God. While the final point that tomorrow will have enough worry of its own may not sound encouraging, it is nonetheless a gracious reminder. We can only heap so much worry on ourselves, and tomorrow’s troubles will be there regardless so there is no benefit to worrying about things now that we can’t change.
 
Examination and Application
If we never face a temptation to worry, then we likely are missing a biblical command to responsibility and concern elsewhere, but that is not an excuse for those who do face that temptation. Too often, our worries as Christians look very similar to the world’s, which means that our values and priorities aren’t much different either. Instead, we are instructed to identify the things that we worry about and shouldn’t even care about (success, validation, respect, luxury, etc.), and the things that we should care about but not worry about (material needs, health, spiritual growth, etc.) Then, we must recognize and repent of our sin, seeing it as a failure to fully trust and rely on God. Finally, we can look to God’s promises, promises for His victory, our eternal security, and the sanctifying work that He is doing in us, and we can rejoice that He is control.
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