Worry and Concern


Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


  Yesterday, when I was reading Darby West’s devotion, “Worry and Stress,” I thought of what Jesus told us in these verses. Here again, “Do not worry.”

   Do you know what Jesus never told us? “Do not be concerned.” See, concern is different than worry. When you worry about something, you spend all kinds of emotional energy on it, but this does nothing to rectify the situation. Concern is different. It’s when you take action that can influence the situation. Worry is paralyzing; concern can be empowering.

  So, the big final exam is coming up. You can worry about it. You can stress. You can get your shoulders all tight and knots up and down your back. You can be a basket case. Or, you can be concerned. You can study. You can get a good night’s sleep. You can get yourself into the mindset that you’ll do your best and your best will do. And you can pray that God will prepare you and sustain you.


  Worry and concern work like this in every situation. It’s your choice how you handle each situation.

  Sometimes, we’re faced with situations where we really can’t influence the outcome. The temptation is to worry, but the better use of our time and energy is to show concern by taking the matter to God in prayer.


If this devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.