Freedom from Worries

(see also translations in Danish, Indonesian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tamil, Tatar, and Ukrainian)


Read first Matthews 6:19-34.


In order to be able to do what Jesus recommends here, one has to question the traditional views on how to plan one's life. Instead in our own plans, we need to put our faith in God's love for us.

Let us look at some verses more closely:

  • v.21: Where your treasure is, there is your heart, too. - Our treasures are the things we don't want to let go, where we painfully feel every loss. Observing our responses to the reality we live in, we can find out in this way where our treasure is.

  • v.22-23: In my own experience, treasures on earth often bind us and enslave us, force us to compromises that darken the inner light - the knowledge of and ability to do the right thing. Times of inner darkness are often times we lost sight of God, being overwhelmed by the loss of someone or something valuable, or by comparing our situation with the treasures we admire or envy in others. Our heart got stuck in the wrong place ...

  • v.24: God and the Almighty Dollar are not compatible. Money corrupts human integrity. Its right place is as a servant of life, not as its master.

  • v.25: Therefore, I tell you, don't be anxious ... - Why therefore?? To worry means to be concerned about our treasures on earth. To worry means to submit to the power of money, security, safety.

  • Is not life more than food (and pleasure, and security, ...)? - To worry means to sell the quality of one's life for passing and uncertain (past or future) treasures.

  • The life of Jesus wasn't safe at all (Matth. 8,20; Luke 4:29-30), but overfull with life and empathy.

  • The apostles rejoice in prison about the presence of God (Acts 16:25-26), and their chains fall off.

  • v.26: Look at the birds... - but they also die! Can we accept this as the care of our heavenly father, too? Do we want to be like the birds, taking life and death from the hands of God? In the presence of God, the fear of death, failure, and insecurity lose their depressing power.

  • Being now dead for the world makes us free! Romans 6; Luke 9:24-25; John 11:25-26

  • v.28 lilies and v.30 grass: Plants have no choice than to accept the conditions in which they grow. But still they live and thrive, and often radiate unsurpassed beauty.

  • Note that God even cares about the grass, being tread upon by many.

  • v.32: God knows what we need, and He cares for us. How often are we still like pagans...

  • v.33: Make it your first aim to let God be king in your life, and to do what is right before Him, and all these things will be given to you. - A magnificent promise. Being in His service, it is in His interest to take care of us, and He can do it better than we do.

  • Not that we do not always have to succeed. But we need to try, again and again, until we succeed (Phil. 3:12).

  • v.34: Therefore be not anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Let today's troubles be enough for the day. - If we do real-ize this (make it real, see it as reality), it is such a relief.

  • Jesus does not say this to give us a heavy load, another source of feelings of inadequacy, but as gospel, good news, to take away our chains and help us grow as healthy children of God.

    Shall we, then, stop to work, to plan, to hope? No, but we shall consider failure in work, disturbances in our plans, unfulfilled hopes not with worries, but as signs of God's correction, and take them into account in our way of life, in our work, our plans, our hopes. 2 Tim. 2:3-4; Prov. 19:21; 21:31; Psalm 127:1-2; Numbers 22.

    God frees us from any need to worry, allows us to leave our anxieties with Him (1 Peter 5:7), and guides us to our best, as long as we care for His interests and serve Him, according to our abilities. 1 Cor. 4:2; 1 Peter 4:10.

    Arnold Neumaier


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    Arnold Neumaier (Arnold.Neumaier@univie.ac.at)