Today’s reading, Luke 12:22-40, is filled with some of the most practical and applicable guidance from Jesus in the Bible, Do Not Worry.
In fact, Luke 12 is packed with great application for believers and perhaps our friends and family that are not yet believers. The sections of Luke 12 are as follows: Beware of Hypocrisy (1-3), Jesus Teaches the Fear of God (4-7), Confess Christ Before Men (8-12), The Parable of the Rich Fool (13-21), Do Not Worry (22-34), The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant (35-48), Christ Brings Division (49-53), Discern the Time (54-56), Make Peace with Your Adversary (57-59). Wow, what great teachings for us to apply to our lives. Go and read Luke 12 today!
Jesus’ command not to worry is a consistent challenge in my life. I am confronted with caving to the world’s temptations and allow my emotions to be overcome with anger and frustration.
“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.” Verse 22
“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.” Verse 29
During recent years, I found myself conflicted with my life. As a husband, father, son, brother, etc. I felt strain from the “world” around me. I was in a professional transition, and I was angry with the situation. The 2020 presidential election was underway with the daily barrage of controversy, debate, and arguments, including social media posts and news coverage. Our family, like many, had challenges that included happiness and health. I felt out of control, angry, and I worried. I worried about the things I could not control, that I needed to let go of, and give it to God.
I took a step back and examined what truly made me unhappy, that I could control, and “let go” of the things I could not control, that contributed to my worry and anxiety. I needed to focus on what made me happy and fulfilled. As I examined my life, social media was something that created worry. I enjoyed Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for many years, but I was wasting my day reading and checking posts, and the tone of the stories were negatively impacting my attitude and candidly, I felt anxious about staying up to date on posts, news, etc. I derived that social media was one of the things that generated worry, and frankly, anger. I had to make a change and did. I shut down my accounts. This is a small gesture but it make a big impact on my life.
That was a great decision for me. Unfortunately, I have not completely rid myself of worry, but my life has a few less distractions and irritations. I have been blessed with a new career opportunity. Our family is in a good place, not without daily ups and downs, but moving in the right direction. I feel more in control of my worry, and I have become better at turning to the Gospel and prayer during my worry rather than allow myself to feel out of control. I know there will be challenges. I know bad things will happen. But I know my faith and my God are where I need to turn for solace and peace.
Let us all turn to the Lord. Let us encourage our friends and family to do the same in times of daily strife. Stress and worry erode our faith and pull us away from God. The “world” and material things will not make us happy or solve our deepest insecurities or issues. Turning to the “world” and seeking happiness and satisfaction will make it worse.
The Word of Jesus and His saving grace is the only thing that will remove our worry and angst while we are on this side of life.