“Why do you worry?” (Matthew 6:28)

December 23, 2022

Worrying is the fright about something that might have or have not occurred in our lives or in the globe we inhibit. It is the feeling of anxiety towards a specific thing. The Holy Bible defines it as “A sense of uneasiness and anxiety about the future. Scripture indicates that such anxiety is ultimately grounded in a lack of trust in God and his purposes.”

Accord, the bible confirms worrying being a sin. In Luke’s gospel it is stated that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you–you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” (Luke 12:22-31)

The nature of mankind within the creation by God was for the better good of humans but not for any kind of suffering until the first Archangel Satan betrayal of his creator that brought death and misery on the world. It was from that on that human lived in anxiety fearing all sorts of tribulations on earth alongside the scam of enemy devil. Adam lived in heaven free of any anxiety or fear with happiness and peace. But his world changed after eating the forbidden fruit and saw his bare body which was then after covered by foliage. Adam’s life on earth was also filled with misery on earth for he was punished for defying God’s command. His children, grandchildren and all of human race onwards have faced similar quandaries living in fear and pain.

These situations have gotten worse in our generations where people worry about their food, shelter and clothing. But Lord Jesus Christ have told us not to worry. He said, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;” (Matthew 6:25-28)

Saint John Chrysostom Said, “How long are you slaves of money? How long have you no love for liberty…Yet being captives of covetousness, you do not so much as consider how you may be delivered from this bitter bondage…It is not poverty that is the thing to be feared, but not being willing to be poor. Account poverty to be nothing to fear, and it will not be a matter for fear to you. This fear is not in the nature of the thing, but in the judgment of feeble minded men…”

And if any one were to offer you sovereignty and political power and wealth and luxury, and then having set poverty against them, he was to give you your choice to take which you would, you would straightaway seize upon poverty-if indeed you knew the beauty of it…But the poor man, you will say, is insulted by the one who is rich. Again you are declaring to me the praise of poverty. For who, I pray you is blessed: the insulter, or the insulted? It is manifest that it is the insulted person. But then covetousness urges insult to the other; poverty persuades to endurance.

But the poor man suffers hunger, you will say. Saint Paul also suffered hunger, and was in famine. But he has not rest. Neither ‘had the Son of Man where to lay his head’ (Matthew 8:20). Do you see how…. it makes you a follower of the Lord? If it were good to have gold, Christ, who gave the unutterable blessings, would have given this to His disciples. But so far from giving it them, He forbad them to have it.…..But so you find it impossible to cast them away? In the first place, I say, it is possible; but I do not compel you, if you are not willing, nor constrain you to it; but this I entreat: to keep yourself nothing more than is necessary. For so we shall both live here without trouble and in security and enjoy eternal life.” (The Bible and The Holy Bible for Holy Fathers, page 511)

It is certain that every human might endure fear while facing worldly problems that leads to his suffering or even death. Especially during financial scarcity, family conflicts and social crises causing a person to destitute, negligence and ailment.

These being the main problems, people are facing social as well as worldly crises resulted from racial differences, tribal wars and social catastrophes that led to massive attack of people specially the murder of Christians on some part of our country Ethiopia, killing of Priests, Deacons, servile and Laities in and around the Church. Making excuse of silly notions as the right of all believes, culture and racing national flags in the city, people are killing on another without any sympathy even for children. Mothers fear is only just for the lives of their offspring but also for the loss of other youngsters who are massacred for the crime they did not commit. They dread for the forfeiture of homeland as well.

Holy Church describes these kinds of period as the time of martyrdom for Christians and those who have no fear of facing any detriment or death paying sacrifice for their soul just as Lord Jesus Christ taught us. Thus, we shall all have faith and strength at the time like this. We might be sacred in the past and while death is upfront; be it is useless to worry about something we cannot change. But if we have faith in God to solve our problems and expect answer form Him, it is without a doubt, our lives would have a better ending.

May God have be with us in our entire lives, Amen!

Subtitle: Homily on Coptic Orthodox Church