Tom Duke gave an insightful and sensitive lesson this morning from the Sermon on the Mount on how worry interferes with our seeking “the kingdom of God and His righteousness” as our top priority. He highlighted four implications about worry to illustrate his point:
(1) Worry trivializes the significance of our lives. “Isn’t life more than food, etc.?”
(2) Worry distracts us from eternal pursuits. "Seek first His kingdom"
(3) Worry denies the love of God for us and his providential care for us.
(4) Worry dethrones God in our lives.
I particularly liked his message because he went beyond the simple imperative, “Cut it out,” which makes us worry even more about how to not worry. It occurred to me that trust is the pivot point that distinguishes concern from worry. If we are concerned about something and trusting that the situation is being managed well and is in good hands, we are free to enjoy the process and can focus on our positive goals. If we are worried, we do not have an adequate basis of trust and we become frightened about the outcome of a situation that might not be managed well and might not be in good hands. We spend our energy with contingency planning while we anticipate all sorts of things that might go wrong. Even Tom’s closing Psalm 121 was most appropriate to what we should be doing instead of worrying.