“Do not worry”???
This is how Jesus leads off his next teaching, and it frustrates me.
This phrase, “Do not worry” is in the imperative tense. “Imperative” means it is a command. And when I think about Jesus commanding us to not worry, immediately I feel frustrated because I struggle with worry. I’ve tried to stop. I want to stop. But I can’t!
Does anyone else out there feel the same way?
And there is Jesus commanding us not to worry. I think, “Really, Jesus? Life is filled with things to worry about.” Jesus himself mentions two things that people in his day worried about:
- About life, what you will eat.
- About your body, what you will wear.
Most of us are not worrying about where we are going to find our food for today or whether we’ll have clothing for our family. But we can worry about tons of other things.
Paying off debt, parenting our kids, and how they will turn out. We might not worry about what we will eat, but we do worry about our body, health, disease, sickness.
So when Jesus says “Do not worry”, I can easily think he is being unrealistic. Does anyone else agree?
Over the last few months, I’ve been learning about worry, as I, myself, have been struggling more acutely with it. I went through a couple months of really struggling. Including not sleeping well for a stretch of 4-5 days, where only got 1-2 hours per night. My heart was pounding, mind racing, and I couldn’t stop the anxiety. One commentator says that to be anxious is to be torn apart by circumstances. Any of you ever felt like that?
So what do we do about this? What does Jesus teach? Can we really deal with worry?