This blog series follows my “Teachings of Jesus Class”
where we examined the words of Jesus recorded in the gospels.
I hate being worried. It makes my heart race, fills my stomach with butterflies, and zaps my ability to concentrate on anything else. To be honest, I haven’t found a way to remove the initial feelings of worry from my life, but I have found a method that once I am aware of them, I can conquer them. Maybe it will help you too.
Jesus ties working for the Reign of God together with overcoming worry . . .
Jesus said, “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you– you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mat 6:27-34 NRS).
One of the most important aspects of the Reign (or Kingdom) of God is that it happens within us as we serve others. But serving others can’t happen effectively when we are worried about our own problems. Jesus knows this. So he reminds us that the creator of the universe is taking care of us. The creator of the universe! Think about it!
Knowing this frees us up from worry and frees us to serve those in need.
In fact, the next time you are worried about something, try this: “Tell, Praise, and Serve”
- Tell your creator your worries. God already knows, but it will help you to name them.
- Praise your creator for loving you, caring for you, and providing for you. Again, the point of this isn’t to butter God up so that you will get what you want (that isn’t how things work), but to help you embrace God’s unfathomable love for you.
- Serve others. Start by asking your creator to show you who needs you today. As you serve others, your worried feelings will dissipate even in the most challenging times.
Repeat as needed. If you find yourself worried 10 minutes later, repeat. It will become easier and easier.
Think of this as a powerful ecosystem. Striving for the Reign of God and worrying can’t live in the same soul! One will win!