Worry Warts

Date

May 12, 2018

Sermon Series

In the second half of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus talks about worry. Some believe that He is saying “Don’t worry about anything.” But I wonder, rather, if He is saying, “Don’t worry so much about the things you know I’ll provide for you.”  He knows our needs and wants and is able to supply them. Also, He finishes with, “Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Each day has enough worries.” Other than saying not to worry at all, could He be saying that it is better to keep your worries small and manageable? Worry is universal. He knows we will worry. But, when our worries get bigger than our God, that becomes a problem.

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Dear Downers Church Family: 

Have you ever wondered what people worry about? Do you think we all worry about the same things? I’d like you to examine the chart above. It was made immediately after the 2016 Presidential election.

The first fact you'll notice is that several of the countries are worried about unemployment. For example, Spain’s unemployment rate varied between 16.8-18.4% in 2017. That means more than 1 out of every 6 employable persons was not employed. It is understandable why unemployment is so worrisome. As for Britain, we notice that “immigration” is the concern. Considering that the net immigration (the number of people coming to the UK minus the number leaving) for the UK over the last 15 years is over 3.6 million. That might not seem very high compared to our 330 million American residents, but it's almost 6% of the 65 million residents of Britain. Other fears include changing laws, ideologies, terrorism, and employment rates.

The people are worried.

Another thing you might notice is that none of the 25 poorest nations in the world made the list. This sample chart has primarily first world nations with first world problems/worries. I am making an assumption, but I tend to think the people of Liberia are a lot less worried about terrorism via EMPs compared to us in the States. Unemployment might not be as big of a worry as a lack of water and food. My human counterparts in Haiti might not get as worried about the lack of Wi-Fi or blundering navigation apps than I do here in the U.S.

Our context determines what we are anxious about.  Even within our own communities in the U.S. worries vary. The young people at Naperville or Hinsdale schools probably worry about different things than those attending Harper High School in Chicago. But what thing is certain: all people worry. Anxiety, on some level, is universal.

In the second half of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus talks about worry. Some believe that He is saying “Don’t worry about anything.” But I wonder, rather, if He is saying, “Don’t worry so much about the things you know I’ll provide for you.”  He knows our needs and wants and is able to supply them. Also, He finishes with, “Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Each day has enough worries.” Other than saying not to worry at all, could He be saying that it is better to keep your worries small and manageable? Worry is universal. He knows we will worry. But, when our worries get bigger than our God, that becomes a problem.

Pastor Kent

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