OceanSide church of Christ

 Previous Return to Articles Next 


Victor M. Eskew


            It is common to hear individuals speak the words that title this article:  “I am worried.”  People are worried about the pandemic.  People are worried about the election.  People are worried about the violence we witness constantly in our streets.  People worry about their jobs.  People worry about their healthcare.  People worry about the stock market.  People worry about their children and grandchildren.  People worry about the church.  Yes, many, many people are suffering with disturbing thoughts at this time in history.

            In the pages of the King James Version, the words “worry” and “worried” are never found.  Other terms, however, are used that indicate worry and agitation of the mind:  “fret” (I Sam. 1:6), “fearful” (Mark 4:40), “careful” (Phil. 4:6), “troubled” (Luke 10:41), and “taking thought” (Matt. 6:27-28) are a few of these terms.  Man has always had a tendency to worry.  It seems like an emotion over which we have little, or no, control.

            The Bible has numerous texts that counsel us about worry.  The basic message of the Bible regarding worry is simply:  “Don’t do it.”  Please consider three passages of Scripture without any commentary.  The first is Psalm 37:1-5. 


                        “Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against                                                    the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like grass, and                                                  wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou                                                  dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself in the                                                      Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way                                                 unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”


Go back and read the text again.  Look for the answers to these two questions:  1) Why does the Lord tell us not to fret?  And 2) What does the Lord tell us to do instead of fret?

            The second text involves part of the Sermon on the Mount spoken by Jesus recorded in Matthew 6:25-34.


                        “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall                                                   eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.                                                  It not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the                                                       fowls of the air:  for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into                                                    barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better                                                     than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his                                                         stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of                                                  of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  and yet                                                    I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like                                                     one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothed the grass of the field, which                                                          to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more                                                     cloth you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What                                                   shall we eat?  or, what shall we drink?  or, wherewithal  shall we be                                                       clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heav-                                                  enly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye                                                   first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things                                                       shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow:                                                      for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto                                                      the day is the evil thereof.”


Again, why does Jesus exhort us not to worry?  Who does He affirm will take care of us?  What does He say our responsibility is?

            The third passage is found in Philippians 4.  It consists of just two verses.


                        “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication                                                    with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And                                                      the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your                                                   hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (vs. 6-7)


Instead of worry, Paul exhorts us to do something else.  What does he exhort us to do?  What promise does he give to us if we will carry out his inspired instruction?

            Worry is an evil emotion.  It has destroyed health, lives, marriages, careers, and churches.  Christians are commanded in Scripture not to do it:  “fret not,” “take no thought,” and “be careful for nothing.”  We are to replace worry with trust, faithfulness, spiritual priorities, and prayer.  If we do these things, God will take care of our worries.  Our enemies will be overcome.  Our lives will be filled with all that is needed.  “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” will keep our “hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (Phil. 4:7).