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  • Shawn Thornton

When to Worry

Saturday - November 13th

Scripture to Read Today: Matthew 6:25-34


Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

When we worry over things that might happen, we borrow tomorrow's troubles and experience their emotions today. Jesus warned us about letting the potential things on the horizon of our lives immobilize us with fear. In His Sermon on the Mount, he said that today has enough problems without trying to borrow tomorrow's troubles too. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34).

In the first century, Jesus's words made sense, and they make sense now in the twenty-first century. We all know the struggles, burdens, and trials of today are heavy enough for today. So why do we regularly get paralyzed in life by the problems that might come in a day or two? So much of what we fret over never takes place. We build big narratives of the worst nature about the unknown yet to come. We allow ourselves to bear the burden of tomorrow's potential troubles, and it can simply ruin our day today.

As I concluded my message on worry this last weekend at Calvary, I showed a flowchart with two key questions to determine just when we should worry. The first question was simple: "Do you have a problem in your life?" If the answer was "no," then there was no reason to worry. But if the answer was "yes," then it prompted a second question: "Can you change it?" Again, if the answer was "no" to this second question, don't worry about it. If, however, the answer was "yes," I can change this, the end result is the same. There is no need to worry. If you can make a change related to a problem in your life, then, you again, don't need to worry. You can see that flow chart on this devotional page.

The bottom line, of course, is simple but not easy: "Don't worry!" Jesus mentioned worry and its dangers five times in Matthew 6:25-34. Three times in that passage, He commands us not to worry. Perhaps this command is one of the hardest of all of Jesus' commands to obey. So make a fresh commitment to obey Christ in not worrying about your problems and struggles. Use the flow chart if that helps you see the clarity of when worry is appropriate or not.

As we trust God through our trials, problems, and challenges in life, worry is never a Christ-like option!


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