Genesis 18: 16– 19: 38 Matthew 6: 25– 7: 14 Psalm 8: 1-9 Proverbs 2: 6-15
I often worry about things that I cannot control, like the weather and what others think. I can control neither, yet often I find myself wondering and worrying. If I do this what will that person think? If I don’t do this what will that person think? I think neither are very healthy or helpful, yet I still do it. Today I read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and how God destroyed the city. Abraham bargains with God as he attempts to see if he can find a few righteous will God spare the place? Abraham gets it down to ten, and God will spare it if only ten are righteous.
But of course, He doesn’t find ten who are righteous because the city goes up in flames. Whatever the sins that caused God to burn the city it is clear that each behavior was willful. Each man and woman chose the behavior God found sinful. Perhaps I should “worry” about my own behavior first.
I choose to worry about that which may or may not happen. I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who said that whatever you are worried about, just give it three days and it will take care of itself. I think this is the principle Jesus is talking about in Matthew 6:34. We have enough to keep us busy today, why take on tomorrow as well.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
And then I read about specks and planks. Something about not being able to see clearly because I have sawdust in my eyes. Of course, it is a metaphor. How often do I judge someone else’s actions harshly when I should first look at my own issues. It is so easy to see the sin of another, but hard to see my own.
I did this recently with my wife. We were arguing about money. I had run us a little short in my quest to pay off some debt and she was worried (worry?) about not having enough to get to the end of the month. Instead of trying to understand her heart, I lashed out and accused her of not trusting me or understanding what I was trying to do. If I had tried to understand her fear and worry (her plank) maybe I could have seen my own plank. She tells me she needs security and I see that as not letting me do what I want to do, but in reality, I have my own fears about not having enough to invest.
3 “ Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
The verse below is the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How different would the world be if we all could do that? The reality is we live in a fallen world and it isn’t going to happen this side of heaven, but as far as it depends on us we should try. I wonder how often our mistreatment of others is based on our own fear and worry? I suspect much if not most of the time.
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The picture I used for this post was taken during spring break Cedar Park State Park in Texas. I love flowers and the beauty they bring. Earlier in Matthew Jesus asks us why worry about clothes, for the fields are adorned in splendor with flowers. I think about that verse when I look at flowers and it comforts me. I hope it gives you some comfort today too.
Until next time, peace.
Tyndale. The One Year Bible NIV (OYB: Full Size) (Kindle Locations 1511-1512). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.