The Biblical word I want to focus on this week is Worry.
This English word will not be found if you were to look it up in a King James Bible or in the American Standard Version, but it is found in the New King James Version. Even though the previous two translations do not use the English, the concept of worry is clearly addressed in several passages of Scripture. The KJV uses the phrase, take no thought, to express the concept of worry in Matthew 6:24-34.
The ASV uses, be not anxious, in this same context. To today’s reader, the KJV may be a little bit misleading with the way it uses, take no thought. In the context of Matthew 6 and other places it is found it does not mean that we are not to consider or give any thought at all toward the needs and cares of this world, i.e. food, clothing, shelter, etc. It just means that one should not become overly concerned with these things to the point that one is distracted from his primary objective, found in verse 33,
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you..”
We still need to be concerned about these things because the Bible says,
“If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” — 1 Timothy 5:8
But, we must not allow them to consume us as illustrated by the thorny soil in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:22,
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”
Why should we not worry or become anxious about the cares and needs of this world? The message Jesus delivered in Matthew 6:24-34 makes it clear that we should not worry about these things because God cares for us. And because if we seek Him first and foremost in this life, these things Christ here mentions really do not matter at all. If I am faithful to God and lack the necessities of this life it does not matter; though I may be poor in material goods or in physical health, I am rich toward God through Christ Jesus my Lord. (C.f. 2 Cor. 8:9 and James 2:5)
Therefore friends, let us not worry and be anxious over the necessities of this life and “let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,” Hebrews 12:1, 2.