Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Better Things to Worry About

By Allen White

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25

In some parts of the world, the worry is over finding food and avoiding starvation. Adequate clothing might not be available, so they wash and rewash the couple of outfits they might have. Most of us reading this devotional don’t live in that world.

Our world is one of too many choices. We worry about what to wear and what to eat, because there are too many choices. Our concern is not “if” we’ll eat, but what we’re in the mood for. Variety is wonderful. Worrying about having enough variety, however, is the preoccupation of pagans, people who are far from God (Matthew 6:31-32).

Food, drink and clothes fall into the category of pleasure rather than necessity for us. Don’t get me wrong. God gave us this world to enjoy. It’s not more spiritual to dress like you’re from the Little House on the Prairie or to eat a subsistence diet. The issue is not over the things. The issue is the worry over them.

Clothes can be an expression of who we are. Is it important to be stylish? Is it important just to be covered up? What might be embarrassing to wear? “I can’t wear that again. I wore that last time.” Would we be overdressed? Would we be underdressed? What would people think of us?

Our value is far more than what we look like. As Samuel told Jesse, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). But, people do look at us, so please wear something.

If our worry comes from what other people will think, then we have put our value in the wrong hands. Public opinion is very fickle. What looked great last year is thrift shop fodder today. It’s interesting, however, that Ralph Lauren doesn’t ever get rid of his old clothes. He wears what’s comfortable to him.

Do you find yourself caught up in worry over too many choices? It might be time to give something away or at least to thank God for what you have. If you really need a new perspective, go on a mission trip to a country in the developing world or a tornado ravaged part of our own country. You will discover there are better things to worry about.

Check out my latest article on Christianity Today's Smallgroups.com: http://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2011/beatsgburnout.html

More from Allen White: allenwhite.org

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