Don’t worry. Be content.

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You, like me, probably feel the weight of life’s unending concerns. If you stop and think about it, almost all of these concerns have a dollar sign attached to them—a decent education, a debt-free life, a full tank of gas, a kitchen with food in it and even a weekend get away.

We can’t escape it. Money has the potential to rule our lives.

Interestingly enough, just before addressing worry, Jesus warns his followers against this very thing. He says: “you cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6.24). He points this out because the people of Jesus’ day, like us, understand a basic truth—if we want stuff then we need money.

Now, stuff isn’t necessarily bad until it becomes our source of security.  When we seek security through material things we become entrapped by anxiety, devoted to money, and ultimately forfeit our allegiance to God (Matthew 6.24). Ironically, this turns us into very insecure people.

Christ, however, wants us to be secure. He wants us to find fulfillment in life by trusting in God and prioritizing our relationship with him above all else (Matthew 6.32-33).

The reason we struggle with this, however, is because we wonder if God will really come through.

One of my favorite images that Jesus uses is the flowers of the field in Matthew 6.28-29. He says: “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin…”

This is actually a bit comical. Could you imagine a flower agonizing over its petals growing? Imagine for a moment a flower twisting and spinning to strain out a single leaf from its stem. The simplicity of this is astounding. If God provides adornment for flowers, who don’t budge an inch, then won’t he meet the most essential needs of his people?

Christ’s point? God can be trusted.

You see, our Lord understands the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in our lives. He knows our concerns and he cares deeply for us (1 Peter 5.7). By trusting that God is trustworthy and placing our troubles in his hands we can truly experience a sense of security and peace (Philippians 4.5-7).

Honestly, it’s hard for you and me to imagine a life not dictated by the tyranny of the almighty dollar. So many of life’s most pressing needs are dictated by money. God, however, promises we can trust him, and he asks for our devotion to him above all else (Matthew 6.24, 33-34).

Life is more than the next, better paying, job. Christ calls us to be free of chasing the almighty dollar and to be content with him! (1 Timothy 6:6-11). He’ll work out the rest.

An Honest Look

ImageI think we put undo pressure on ourselves when we try to meet the status-quo and lie to others about who we really are. No, I don’t think we should hang out our dirty laundry. That’s not needed.

We do, however, need to get past the drive to look smart by omission, to spew every bit of intellectual prowess we have at others to impress or demean them, or to compromise on our convictions for sake of our image. We all feel this need to pretend, to look good and to impress others. Jesus, however, isn’t interested in all that. He requires us to drop the bravado and be honest with ourselves, others and God.

As for me, I’m not the smartest guy in seminary. I don’t know the five points of Calvinism by heart, politics still confuse me and I’ve only read the Bible from cover-to-cover once. I’m a struggling father, husband, employee and, more to the point, a struggling Christian. I haven’t got it all together. This is what I bring to life.

God isn’t interested in perfect people,though, but in people who will come to Jesus as “little children,” (Matthew 18:3). That demands honesty, vulnerability and trust. That’s who I want to be–a child. Take it all away. That’s what I want–most of the time.