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Worrying and Waiting

The above phrase helped me understand how to overcome worry in my life. In the past, I could tell you some truths from Matthew 6, but I did not understand how to use them to get to the heart of my worries.

What was missing? Jesus addresses it in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What I needed to see was that I had competing sinful desires (treasures) which I worshiped and cherished more than Jesus. Jesus was not my treasure.

To help us understand Matthew 6:21, Jesus states three principles to help us overcome worry and worship Him. The first is everyone lives for some kind of treasure. Treasures are things or people we live to gain, maintain or enjoy. We value them and they can become very important to us. They can become an idol in our lives, something or someone we worship instead of God. What I found out was that I worshiped and lived for the treasures of peace, security, comfort, love, no conflict, etc.

The second principle is: the thing that you value will control your heart. I would imagine you would be more upset over losing a job than a slipper. Why? Because in our culture the job is more important than the slipper. The slipper doesn’t have as much value. What’s the point? The thing or person that is your treasure will control you.

The third principle Jesus teaches is: what controls your heart will control your behavior and speech. Let’s say you lost your job or something doesn’t go well at work. Others may notice that by the way you act or talk. You kick the dog, grumble at your wife and kids or you’re caught daydreaming.

Your words can indicate worry is in your heart. Luke 6:45 says, “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Jesus says in that passage what you value has a way of controlling your speech. What you treasure has a way of coming out for all to hear.

What do these principles tell you? The situations of life do not cause the worry. It’s what you think about the situations that is important. So, if your treasure is at stake, then you might be anxious. You must not wait for the situation to change before you change your heart. Why? Because you can control how your heart reacts with God’s help, but you cannot always control what’s going to happen.

For you and me to overcome worry, we must see worry as sin, and further understand where there is a sin problem, there is a God problem. This in turn must drive us to repentance of treasuring things, people or ideas. Thomas Chalmers points the way forward. He says: “we worshiped our way into this mess (worrying), and by God’s grace, we’ll worship our way out.” Truly the treasure we must worship is Jesus Christ and Him alone. Where worship of God thrives, worry dies.