“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Anxiety is what I would call, to use a Jerry Bridges term, a respectable sin. Most people worry at some point or another, and this passage is viewed mistakenly as a suggestion from Jesus rather than a command. As Christians, we are to trust Christ with everything, whether it be with small worries or long term anxiety. This section of scripture is a good lesson that if God looks after animals and takes care of them simply, will he not also take care of us? The answer is a resounding yes when Jesus says we are of greater value than birds. Anxiety at its core is similar to many other sins; it is idolatry. Choosing to worry after being commanded not to is the same as lusting after being told not to lust, or stealing after being told not to steal. Why shouldn’t we worry? Again, it’s not just the command, it’s the reminder that our heavenly Father is watching over our physical and spiritual needs. I believe the last part of verse 27 is a practical reminder that worrying never makes a situation better, it can only make it worse and drain the joy from your day. We don’t have to pray that God will provide for us; he already does. Our prayer must be that we not forget of God’s faithfulness to provide. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I’ve found prayer to be extremely helpful in my life. The next time you find yourself worrying, read this passsage of scripture and express to the Lord that you believe him to be bigger than your worry. Remember, you are much more important to God than birds.
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