What if We Believed Jesus? Part 2

“So my counsel is:  Don’t worry about things–food, drink, and clothes.  For you already have life and a body–and they are far more important than what to eat and wear.  Look at the birds!  They don’t worry about what to eat–they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food–for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And you are far more valuable to him than they are.  Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?”  Matthew 6: 25-27

If we really believed this, if we really trusted God to take care of our needs, how differently might we live?  The area where most people worry is  money and whether they will have enough to meet today’s bills and what might the future hold for them financially.  Obviously, money is another synonym for food, drink and clothes.  If we quit worrying, just do what we should and then go on and live, we might have more time, better health, and more fulfilling lives.  If we don’t constantly worry that we won’t have enough, we might be a whole lot more generous toward God’s work and the needs of others.  We might actually enjoy providing some pleasure for those who might not otherwise experience it, like taking some disadvantaged kids to a movie or kid’s museum or the like.  We might make more memories for our own family–spending money on travel to see them oftener, for instance.  We might quit hoarding, thinking there could be scarcity in our future.  Some people have developed hoarding into a fine art, but when you think about it–if we do have a national crisis with severe shortages, do we want to try to protect our stash with a gun?  Do we want to shoot starving people who want to steal from us?  Yet the doomsday hoarders have to ask themselves this question.

If we really trusted God to take care of us, would we spend all our time and money on vitamins, supplements, exercise programs, health scans, etc?  Or would we just do what God asks:  eat reasonably, exercise reasonably, and sleep reasonably?  All the worry about maybe getting cancer or cardiovascular disease, ignores the fact that most of us eat too much, exercise too little and have entirely too much stress in our lives.  Fat cells and stress are the toxic combination that cause all kinds of disease.  And some of the stress is because we worry entirely too much over money.

Another thing to believe Jesus about is that life is the most important gift–not things of any kind.  Jesus was the ultimate minimalist.  He traveled as an itinerant preacher, and likely had nothing but his coat–no home, no mode of transportation, no suitcase.  We would all have to go a very long way to be real minimalists.  Yet I have known people in ministry who go almost that far–don’t own homes or cars, use the library for reading and computer time, don’t have tv, maybe have a cell phone, but almost no material possessions except the bare necessities.   Without exception, these people are at least as happy as the ones who have every convenience and a lot of luxuries.

Seeking security in money requires chasing the promotions, climbing the career ladder, being competitive, and putting in more time than anyone else.  If we could work hard 8 hours a day, then leave the job at work, how much more time would we have for prayer, thought, relationships, exercise, and enjoyment of God’s creation?  How much less stress would we have?  How much more quality of life?  How much better health?

 

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