“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life…” – Matthew 6:25
I’m worried about my life.
To be sure, I’m not living in fear for my life, and I have no intentions of taking my life, but recent events have sent my life into a tailspin.
I’m worried if I made the right choices and how choices that I thought were right could have led to a point and place in my life that doesn’t feel right.
I’m worried that I unwittingly screwed myself over.
I’m worried that things won’t get better from here.
I’m worried that I am doomed.
In times when I am in despair, I go to my tried, tested and true Bible verses for comfort. I turned to Matt 6:33. I expected to read again how I shouldn’t worry about what I will eat, drink, or wear because God will take care of me. I expected to be reminded that if I put God and the things of God first, all other things will be provided and fall into place. I did receive those reminders. But the prelude in verse 25 jumped out at me for the first time the other day. First, Jesus tells His audience (i.e. people who have cause to worry):
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life…”
Wow. Oh how I needed to read that. What a wonderful reminder. That pretty much sums it all up.
Do not worry about your life.
It doesn’t say, “Therefore do not worry about your life.”
It says, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life…” [emphasis added]
It’s one thing if my best friend told me not to worry. It would make me feel a little better and give me some hope.
But this is Jesus talking and not some random person. And since it is my Best Friend Jesus telling me not to worry about my life, and since He is in control of my life (Psalm 46:10), and since He already knows all about my life (Psalm 139:16) and since He gave me my life, and since He wants me to have an abundant life (John 10:10), and because I expect to see the goodness of the Lord during my life and not just in the afterlife (Psalm 27:13), and because, although this life matters, the next life matters most (Matt. 6:19-21), then I truly don’t have to worry about my life. It wouldn’t make sense to.
Worry has never helped anyone or done anything except make the problems of life worse. Worry is useless. It’s praying for what you don’t want. It’s running around in circles, in the vain attempt to convince yourself that you are doing something when in fact you are doing nothing and going nowhere.
So to you and to me, I remind us, again (because we often need this reminder) to not worry about our lives.
Do not worry about your life.
The verse could say different things to different people, depending on what is going on in your life:
Don’t worry about whether you will be struck by a car tomorrow or if you will be hit by lightning.
Don’t worry about how long you have to live or how long it will take for you to die.
Don’t worry about whether or not you got the job.
Don’t worry about what is going to happen to you.
Don’t worry about whether you should have children, should have had children or if you’ll ever have children.
Do not worry about your ovaries. They are doing just fine. Really.
Don’t worry about whether getting pregnant right now was the right time to do it or the right decision.
Don’t worry about what this pregnancy will mean for your life.
Don’t worry about what last night’s sexual encounter will mean for your life.
Don’t worry about your student loans.
Don’t worry about ever being able to afford a car or a house.
Don’t worry about if you made the right career choices.
Don’t worry about whether you picked the right spouse.
Don’t worry about if you went to the right school.
Don’t worry about the investment in and utility of your education.
Don’t worry about if you said no to the right opportunity and yes to the wrong one.
Don’t worry about the logistics of your move or if you’ll find a place to live or stay.
Don’t worry about finding and making friends.
Don’t worry about how your substance abuse or drug usage will affect your life.
Don’t worry about having had touched the handle of the door to the public washroom with your bare hands and whether or not you’ll contract some kind of staph infection or disease.
Don’t worry about if you are breathing the cleanest air possible and the many ways in which your lungs are disintegrating with each inhalation.
Don’t worry about developing diabetes or suffering from breast cancer or dying from heart disease because it runs in your family.
Don’t worry about whether you will be able to sleep tonight.
Don’t worry about the job interview or the date or the meeting or the presentation tomorrow or next week or next month or never.
Don’t worry about if you’re on the “right path” (whatever that is).
Don’t worry about what you will be when you grow up (even if you are already grown up).
Don’t worry about wasting away at your job.
Don’t worry about your bank account.
Don’t worry about your credit score.
Don’t worry about stifling your potential.
Don’t worry about if they heard you fart or if they caught you on the one day you were without your much needed Tic Tac.
Don’t worry about bankruptcy.
Don’t worry if they can see your armpit hairs and five o’clock shadow or the thin shirt you wore when the air conditioner was on full blast and people could see your erect nipples (and don’t act like it has never happened to you)
Don’t worry about the amputation and how it will affect your life.
Don’t worry about how you look or how you don’t look.
Don’t worry about your job or if you’ll get fired or when you should quit or if you’ll find another one.
Don’t worry about your criminal record.
Don’t worry about how a particular event or fact or situation or exam or grade or result will affect or could affect the rest of your life.
Don’t worry about having enough money to retire and do not worry about your pension.
Don’t worry about what program of study you should pursue or if you choose the right degree.
Don’t worry about your rent or mortgage payment.
Do not worry about whether or not you will have enough money in general.
Don’t worry about finding your passion.
Don’t worry about finally meeting your life partner or if you will ever meet your life partner.
Don’t worry about being alone forever.
Don’t worry about the choices you have made or the choices you have yet to make.
Don’t worry about what is happening in your life.
Don’t worry about what isn’t happening in your life.
Don’t worry about what will happen to you (because ultimately, you really don’t know, even if you think you do).
Don’t worry about what your life looks like to yourself or to others.
Don’t worry about the people who try to destroy your life.
Don’t worry about what people think about your life.
Be responsible with your life. Care about your life. Pray about your life. Pay attention to your life. Participate in your life. Engage in your life. Work your hardest and do your best in your life. Ask Iyanla to fix your life. But do not worry about your life.
Better yet, ask Jesus to fix your life and come into your life so that you do not have to worry about your life. He gave you life in the first place.
Do not worry about your life.
I repeat: Do not worry about your life.
I will read this over and over again until it sinks in and becomes my reality.