Saturday, November 26, 2011

Putting Worry in its Place

As Jesus continues to teach in Matthew 6:25-34, He touches on the importance of trusting in God. He began by using an example which relates to our primary needs-food, drink and clothing. This reminds me of the hierarchy of needs theory introduced by Abraham Maslow, in A Theory of Human Motivation (1943), "The most primal needs of human beings are food, clothing, and shelter (physiological requirements and safety). Humans cannot move up the ladder of higher needs like self-actualization, loving/belonging, and self-esteem until their most basic needs are met." My question is where would Maslow place "faith and spirituality" on his hierarchy of needs scale? Steven Covey's principle of leadership,"First things first," means that an effective leader prioritizes his or her agenda with things that are most important." Transferring this statement from a worldly situation to what Jesus said, "... Seek first the kingdom of God" should be at the top of our agenda. "Realizing that God is the ultimate provider, there is no need to worry about things, because life is not based on things, but our relationship with God. Worry does not change the outcome of the situation, however it does undermind our faith in God.

Jesus illustrates by saying take a look at the fowls of the air; they do not sow any seed, nor reap any to store in a barn; our Father feeds them. Since God made man after Him own image; placed man as overseer of all earthly matters; considers man better than the fowls of the air. Surely, since God take care of the needs of the fowls, we can have confidence that He will provide for the needs of man. Building anxiety or worrying will not change your life situation. God orders and arranges the circumstances of your life. Therefore, as in Philippians 4:6 (HCSB), "Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

Jesus point of reference now being the herbs and lilies of the field that have their being, nourishment, beautiful hue and fragrance from God. The lilies grow night and day; they do not toil/work, nor do they spin. These inanimate objects are without anxious care or thought of any kind. Hence, our being, its excellence and usefulness, does not depend on our concern, it comes from God for His glory. Jesus used the fowls/animate and the lilies/inanimate to show that God will provides food and raiment without our worry.

God makes the beauty of the field today, while tomorrow it maybe gone, yet there is no need for worry. So it applies to us; our time is now and it is in God's hand, and it is a good hand. Do not worry about the length of your life; God will lengthen or shorten it as He pleases. Do not worry about the comforts of life; leave it to God. We are not to be anxious about the future; God has given us life, and has given us the body and He will provide for it. We must remove the worldliness of our hearts and "seek first the kingdom of God."

No comments: