Worry Is Worthless – Part One

The following will be best understood by first reading Matthew 6: 27- 34.

Jesus knows human nature. He knows your tendency to worry. He is aware of your proclivity to be pessimistic and look on the dark side of most things. Therefore, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6: 17).

Mark Twain once wrote: “I am an old man and I have seen a lot of troubles, but most of them never happened.” Can you agree?

The Authorized King James version translates the Greek word “merimnao,” “take no thought.” The Greek word has two parts which are “merim,” meaning “mind” and “nao,” signifying “to divide.” Thus, the word speaks of a divided mind. That is what worry is, a divided mind. It means to fall to pieces. Old timers were known to say, “I just fell to pieces.”

Hence, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

Worry divides our mind, that is, our understanding; therefore, we end up wishy-washy and confused.

Worry divides our discernment; therefore, our observations and conclusions are cloudy.

Worry divides our feelings, and as a result our emotions are unstable.

There are physical reasons not to worry. In 1610 and 1611 when the AKJ was translated, “thought” meant a negative attitude, actually worry.  For example, writing in that time period it was said Queen Catherine “died of thought.” That didn’t mean she existed without thinking and then one day she had a thought and it killed her like a stroke or heart attack.

Another example of this use from the same period related to a play in which it was said to Queen Cleopatra, “Think and die,” meaning “worry will kill you.”  Today medical science has proven this to be true.

The expression “take no thought” isn’t an encouragement to be thoughtless, shiftless, or thankless.

Prudent, practical planning is always appropriate.

What Jesus said meant to His hearers and to us, “don’t worry.” If He tells us not to do it that means it is wrong to do it and there are ways to avoid worry. Incidentally, in this passage in Matthew, Jesus repeats the expression four times. It is as though He knew we needed it emphasized. He wanted to be clearly understood. Take Jesus at His word and don’t worry. Instead, exercise faith today.