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THE WORRY

War

SESSION #2

UNDERSTANDING WORRY

worry is a sin

MATTHEW 6:25-34

When you see your doctor he has one goal in mind, to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. She needs to be confident of the underlying issue behind the reason you came in for a visit. Your doctor will likely immediately have an idea, but will often run tests, draw blood, or even refer you to someone else for confirmation. All of these steps are means to the end of determining a plan of treatment which will result in good health. At times you may opt for a second opinion. If a second doctor determines a different issue, he will have a different plan of treatment than the first.

The modern world (especially America) has many opinions on worry (or anxiety for the more popular term). In America we’ve even adopted June as mental health awareness month. We want to normalize the national struggle over mental health. I’m certain you’ve heard conflicting teachings on what worry actually is, why it happens, and how to deal with it. Again, a different issue prompts a different plan of treatment. You may have heard that worry is hereditary and you have your mom to thank for your issues. You may have heard it’s due to a chemical imbalance in your brain or a learned behavior from your environment or undisclosed trauma. Each school of thought promotes a different plan of treatment and each school brings an element of truth to the table.

You may have already recruited counseling, a change in diet, increased exercise, or anxiety medication to help counteract your worries. But if you battle worry long enough you will learn that the world, while providing some helpful tools for the fight, is only capable of offering you symptom management. The world’s minds and resources alone will never bring you complete victory over worry, because they’ve not begun with the root cause. Worry is a sin so repentance is the first step toward victory.

After addressing a variety of topics and immediately after proving the problem with trying to worship two different things (God and wealth), Jesus gives one of the clearest treatments of worry in the Bible.

Three times in just ten verses we hear a version of the phrase “Do not worry”. I’ll make this easy, if the Bible says do not do this and you do that thing, you’ve committed sin. If you’ve committed sin, you need to confess your sin to God, ask for strength and wisdom to change, and begin taking steps to repent (or turn in the opposite direction toward God).

But in the spirit of being more thorough, here Jesus gives us three reasons worry is sinful: worry doubts God’s ability to provide, worry is poor stewardship of our time, and worry is a distraction from the most important things.

The creation account crowns mankind with intrinsic value over and above the rest of creation. Jesus builds on this truth. Aren’t you worth more than the birds of the sky and the flowers of the field? God provides for these, will He not provide for you?

I love football and playing football makes a short list of the things I’ve enjoyed most in life. My biggest problem in playing was that my mountain of a grandfather forgot to pass down his height genetics to my father and I get to be 5’6. In middle school I used to go to sleep at night thinking of ways to make myself taller and yet I couldn’t add one inch. Worrying about your life wastes as much time as when I used to try to make myself taller. Worry is useless to you. Further, every moment of every day is a gift from God and spending that time worrying wastes those gifts.

Tucked in between all the prohibitions for worrying is a command, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” Our life, our time, our priorities should all be aimed toward seeking God and His mission for us in this life. Anytime we engage in worry we become distracted from what’s most important. We have begun to fixate on our kingdom, not God’s.

Finally, one of my favorite portions of this passage, the worries of tomorrow. How often do we worry about future events? I have a rule that helps me and you might consider utilizing it yourself. I tell myself I cannot even begin to worry about something until it’s actual. That is, the worries of the future are purely hypothetical because tomorrow hasn’t come yet. Tomorrow may never come for you and you will have wasted the moments of today worrying about it. Tell yourself repeatedly, “I will not worry about what may never happen”.

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE MEMORY VERSE:

Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  1. Do I have specific worries in my life I need to confess and repent of? Spend some time with the Lord doing that now.

  2. In what areas of my life am I failing to trust God’s provision?

  3. Which specific worries in my life are actual? Which are purely hypothetical?

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