Why Does Jesus Say I Don’t Need to Worry?


Summary: Jesus gives several reasons we must not allow worry and anxiety to rule our lives. Throughout His teaching on worry, Jesus tells us why worry wastes are life and changes nothing.


In my last post, I discussed Jesus’s hard to understand teaching on having good or bad eyes and serving two masters. In this post, I want to talk about anxiety and worry.

We have so many things that try to unnerve us, things we worry about. I’d like to think some of our advancements as a civilization have made worrying even easier. People worry about social media, checking it twenty times a minute. We worry about what others will think of our speech, dress, actions, and what they might think of us.

In Jesus’s day, there was much to worry about. People worried about their clothing, where their next meal came from, and what they would drink. These are much more basic needs to worry about the things we concern ourselves with today.

Jesus teaches us as His disciples not to worry about anything. There are some great reasons to not worry if you are a Christian. Will that really change how we think and behave as Christians? Let’s get started.

Life Is More Than Worry (Matthew 6:25)

Did you ever stop to think how much time, how much life, we miss because we worry? I worry about things that will never happen. Maybe I think they never happen because I worried about them. But that’s not how it works. Time is not money. Time is a life, and we waste more time on worry than on making money.

Jesus doesn’t address worrying about things that will never happen. He doesn’t teach us how to not worry about the luxuries of life. He talks about the day-two-day things we need to survive. So, if we shouldn’t worry about our basic needs, we probably should not worry about almost everything that keeps us up at night today.

When I tell my parents I worry about something, they always bring up this passage. I have tried to change the word “worry” to “concern.” But it means the same thing. I just don’t want to admit it.

I have yet to meet someone who isn’t worried about something. I can’t imagine how many counselors and psychologists deal with worry and anxiety every day. People don’t sleep, trying all kinds of drugs and natural supplements. Rarely do we consider our lifestyle the reason we don’t sleep.

I was having trouble sleeping a while ago. Since I became paralyzed, my body needs turned side to side at least once throughout the night. It helps me avoid skin breakdown because I cannot move. The first few months of my paralysis, I couldn’t sleep because the nurses came in to turn me all the time.

I talked to my doctor about how to get more sleep at night. She suggested something called sleep hygiene. I had to research this because I didn’t know what she was talking about. We can take steps to ensure we get more sleep at night. They range from not taking naps after 2 PM to eliminating blue light from computer, TV, and cell phone screens.

The best way to get more sleep is to stop worrying about everything. Don’t let your concerns in the daytime keep you up at night time. Don’t let your worry steal your joy, your life, or the time you have with loved family and friends. Be in the moment.

God Is Your Provider (Matthew 6:26a, 28-29)

Jesus teaches us one reason not to worry – God knows our needs and provides for them all (Matthew 6:32b). He provides examples from nature of how the Father takes care of animals and flowers. Why wouldn’t He take care of His children? That would suggest a Father who is not a good provider.

First, God provides food for the birds of the air. They don’t work for their food. They don’t punch the clock day in and day out. Yet, God feeds them all. Jesus makes a comparison. If God feeds them, how much more would he feed us? Next, He gives the example of the flowers of the field (vv. 28-29). They don’t work for their care, yet God makes the more beautiful than the clothing Solomon, a king of Israel, wore.

God feeds and clothes the animals and flowers in nature. Yet, He took even greater interest and care in creating humanity. We underestimate God’s goodness, care, and interest in us if we think He won’t take care of us. He is the greatest example of a good Provider we will ever know. When we are anxious for our basic needs, let alone lavish needs, we doubt God’s provision for us. We may not get everything we want, but we cannot question God’s lavish provision for our needs.

Your Great Worth (Matthew 6:26b)

Jesus speaks of our great worth to Him and the Father. With a question, Jesus helps us realize our great worth to God. He asks, “Are you not of more value than them?” It doesn’t take a Greek scholar to realize the answer expected is, “Yes, of course.” God cares for all of His creation. But we must realize He has prioritized His creation.

Birds and flowers have value, but not as much as us. You don’t just matter to God. You matter beyond His creation. As much as God cares for every part of creation, He cares more for you. Read Genesis 1-2. Pay close attention to chapter 2. It shows how after God spoke creation into existence, He creates man out of the dust of the earth and breathes life into him (Genesis 2:7). He gave the man a beautiful place to live and work in a garden (Genesis 2:8-9). He even saw to the man’s happiness and relational needs by creating woman, his perfect counterpart (Genesis 2:18, 21-24).

God paid attention to Adam and Eve, making them the crown of His creation. He cares so much about you that He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16). God doesn’t quit caring about you are showing interest in you after your birth. He follows you all your days and knows everything about you. Of course He will care for your basic needs. Beyond them, God lavishes His grace upon you.

Let us not forget Jesus left His throne in heaven to come to earth, born of a woman, living a life as we do, and ministering to and healing so many during His ministry. Then, He died the worst and most painful death in your place and mine. He rose from the dead on the third day to solidify our salvation and inheritance. God has done way more than provide for our basic physical needs. He has healed and restored our spirits and souls.

Above Your Pay Grade (Matthew 6:27)

We worry about everything. In America, most of us don’t worry about the basics of life. Sure, we have poor and homeless people. But most Americans have their basic needs met. Our worrying is a waste of time, effort, and energy. We can’t change a single thing with worrying.

It is a useless endeavor. As Jesus points out, we can’t add even one hour to our lives, let alone a significant lifespan. Worrying consumes our time, not adds to it. We concern ourselves with things that are either none of our business or things we can’t change. These things are not for us to concern ourselves with. They are above our pay grade.

Why do we concern ourselves with things we can’t change? We can’t guarantee when or how our life ends. Worrying about these things doesn’t change them. How many movies and books have been written where a person’s worth and life has much more significance than they imagine? One of my favorite movies I watch at Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, grants George Bailey his wish, that he was never born. The angel Clarence shows him all the lives that have changed for the worse because of his nonexistence.

Your life doesn’t just matter to those around you. It matters to God. We need to concern ourselves with much less than we do. God’s writing an incredible story with your life, and He concerns Himself with its details. He is making a beautiful tapestry of the events and people interacting with your life. He’s telling a greater story then your worry can wish.

Worry Suggests Lack of Faith (Matthew 6:30, 32b)

Jesus further tells us that worrying about our clothing and the basics of our life shows a lack of faith in God’s provision. We don’t trust God to provide when we worry about our needs. It doesn’t change how we will receive His provision. Anxiety and worry don’t provide for our needs or fix our situation.

If anything, they make us spiral into more unbelief and fear. God doesn’t want any of us to live that way. He made our lives to count for much more than that. When we worry or have anxious thoughts and feelings, we neglect trust in an all good and all powerful God who knows us completely. Let us not have a lack of faith in our good God.

Worry Suggests the Wrong Priorities (Matthew 6:31-33)

Jesus concludes His teaching on being anxious and worrying by telling us our priorities are all messed up. He says that the Gentiles, a symbol for the ungodly are those who don’t know God, chase after the needs and luxuries of life. They are the ones to worry and we must not do what they do.

God knows what we need because He created us. When we worry about every little need we have, how can we concentrate on the priorities God has for us? We must prioritize the eternal over the day-to-day. Our worth and purpose are more than the basics of life. While God is doing His job of providing for us, we must fulfill His purposes for us.

A Sunday School verse we have all learned is Jesus’s grand conclusion to His teaching about worry and anxiety. Instead of worrying and prioritizing the necessities of life and control over life and everything else, led us prioritize and seek God’s Kingdom. When we put His Kingdom in priority over everything else, the other things we have spent so much time worrying about take care of themselves. All these other things come after seeking God and His Kingdom.

A proper placement of priorities puts God first, His Kingdom next, and we need not worry about anything else. God takes care of the rest of our needs and wants in our life. When we put God first, He takes care of the rest. We have nothing to worry about.

And if you really can’t stop being concerned about something, take it to the Lord in prayer. He’ll help set you straight. I submit my plans and my agenda for each day to the Lord. He reminds me that until He returns, tomorrow is another day. That may be why Jesus ends this section by telling us tomorrow

Growth Challenge

Begin your day by committing your agenda, task list, schedule, and way of life to the Lord. Let Him order your steps ahead of you. If you feel yourself worrying about something or getting anxious, give it over to Jesus. Feel Him lighten your load.

Up Next

Now we have discussed how to handle worry as a disciple of Jesus, next we will take on the often misunderstood teaching on judging others.

Image by Nile from Pixabay

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