Today’s Scripture: Matthew 6:24-33
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
I always feel conflicted when I read these words from Jesus. The truth is I do worry about food and drink and clothes. (This year I have even worried about toilet paper!) I worry about housing and transportation and taking care of my kids and my savings and retirement. I worry about having “enough”. And yes sometimes these thoughts “dominate” – to use the word Jesus used. I’m sure I’m not alone, am I?
But Jesus is telling us here that God will give us everything we need. God will care for us the way he cares for the birds and the flowers. So why DO we worry? I guess it’s somewhere in our DNA. There are ways, I believe, we can reduce our worry and the dominating thoughts of our financial security.
First, we need a better definition of the word “enough”. I think for most of us enough is WAY MORE than enough. When our definition of “enough” is askew, we can quickly turn into hoarders. We can also start to use less-than-honorable means to make sure that we have “enough”. What exactly is enough?
Second, we need to be thankful. Gratitude for the gifts God has given us helps us to put our resources in the proper light. When we are not thankful, we start to think that the resources we have are all due to our own cleverness. When we are not grateful, we tend to push God out of the picture.
Third, to reduce worry and anxiety over resources, we need to give. By giving we learn that we don’t need to hoard. By giving we learn that we can be a blessing to others just as God has blessed us. By giving we can participate in something bigger than ourselves. By giving we can seek the Kingdom of God instead of our own kingdom.
As we head into Thanksgiving week, I encourage you to hear the words of Jesus and not worry about your resources. God will give you everything you need. In fact, God already has.
God help us not to worry or hoard the resources you have given us. Remind us what it means to have enough. Move our hearts toward thanksgiving. Help us to give a portion of what you have given us. And remind us that you have our needs covered.