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An Alternative to Worry

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

A law-abiding, honest man received a voicemail that said, “This is officer _______ from the police department. Please call me at this number.” Immediately the man began to worry—afraid that somehow he had done something wrong. He was afraid to return the call, and he even spent sleepless nights running through possible scenarios—worried that he was in some kind of trouble. The officer never called back, but it took weeks for the worry to go away.

Jesus asked an interesting question about worry: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). Perhaps this can help us rethink our tendency to worry, because it suggests that it doesn’t help the situation we’re concerned about.

When problems are on the horizon for us, maybe we can try the following two-step approach: Take action and trust in God. If we can do something to avoid the problem, let’s try that route. We can pray for God to guide us to an action we should take. But if there’s nothing we can do, we can take comfort in knowing that God never finds Himself in such a predicament. He can always act on our behalf. We can always turn our situation over to Him in trust and confidence.

When it feels like time to worry, may we turn to the inspired words of King David, who faced his own share of difficulties and worries, but concluded: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). What a great alternative to worry!

What worries do you need to give to God today?

Father, You know what faces me today. I am turning my cares over to You. Please strengthen me and help me to trust You with the struggles I face.


Matthew 6:19–34 emphasizes that true discipleship requires a lifestyle in which all we do is unified by our love for God. In verse 22, for example, Jesus suggests that, just as an eye defect distorts our whole vision, so our entire being becomes corrupted when our priorities are distorted. It’s impossible, He emphasizes, to be devoted to more than one “master” (v. 24).

This, Jesus suggests, is why worry can be so dangerous. It’s only natural to feel anxiety, but when worry is what drives us, devotion to our own peace of mind may have replaced a single-minded devotion to God and the just ways of His kingdom.

Monica Brands

By |2019-01-04T16:10:08-05:00January 8th, 2019|
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