By Rev. Wilson Suwanto
Worry is a common human reaction. Everyone worries about something
everyday. Even when we have nothing to worry about, we worry if such a
feeling is normal. When we are worry-free, we often become worried
because we are so unlike others around us. It seems that worry is
inevitable in this life.
However, Jesus tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:25). Does He mean to
say that all kinds of worries at anytime is always sinful? We need to
read the command not to worry in context. The context is about the
worship of God versus the worship of money. Under no circumstances
should we ever be the worshiper of money. Money is a good servant but
an evil master. Being worried about money all the time drives us
closer to the worship of money.
We must distinguish between worry and concern. A mother who worries
about her son’s spiritual life has a legitimate concern. Concern comes
from love. We will “worry” about the well-being of our loved ones, and
this is called “concern.” It will be questionable if we do not have
any concern for those we love. The worry that Jesus talks about in
Matthew 6 does not come from love but from unbelief and greed.
How does worry become a spiritual problem?
1. When it drives us away from God.
Yes, we will worry about the well-being of our loved ones. But, when
such a worry drives us away from God, it becomes a spiritual problem
that will lead to sin. When our worry becomes a habit that we cannot
eat or drink or work normally, it is a spiritual problem.
2. When it comes from greed.
Sometimes we worry that we will not have as much as others. This can
be a form of greed. God provides for us, and this is His promise. We
don’t have to sell our Christian character in order to survive. When
we work so much that we don’t have time for God and our family, we
invite all kinds of sin. We work so much that we begin to lose our
health. Worry kills us slowly. Behind that worry is greed. A lack of
contentment with what God has provided in the present time.
3. When it stems from unbelief.
We study hard so that we will get an A. We work hard to save enough
for our retirement. This is a good planning. Many people, however, do
so because they believe that their future totally depends on them.
This is unbelief. As believers we know that our future depends on God.
We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know Who holds tomorrow. We
know that our life is in God’s hands. We know that He is for us and
with us. Plan ahead, yes, but trust God. Do not lean on your own
understanding, says Solomon in Proverbs 4.
In truth, we always worry about something. In fact, we will worry even
when we have nothing to worry about. It is a habit, and yes, a sinful
one. When worry comes, what should we do then? First, bring your worry
to God in prayer. When worry comes, pray. Second, thank God for what
He has done. Looking back to God’s protection and provision in the
past will give us more reason to trust Him. Third, be content and
enjoy God’s blessing for today. Yes, God will keep us tomorrow, but He
is also watching over us right now. Be thankful, be content, and enjoy
today as God’s gift. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us
rejoice and be glad in it. Fourth, trust God for who He is. We know
God in Jesus Christ. We know God through what Jesus did for us. When
we see Jesus, we know that God is for us. If He is not for us, He will
not give us Jesus.
In the face of Jesus, we can face today and tomorrow. We pray to Him,
praise His name, and proclaim His love. In His face, we know that God
loves us. We know that He forgives our sins, including the sin of
worry. In Christ, we are confident that everything will be okay in the
end. God has given everything to Jesus, and everything is ours in Him
who loves us.