Would It Help? In the Words of a Spy…

spy

Spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen Bridge of Spies yet, you might pass on reading this blog. I won’t be giving away the whole plot, but there will be more information here than you might want to have before you enter the theater.

In Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks is tasked with the defense of a Russian spy. (Okay, he isn’t actually Russian, but that’s not important here.) As the plot thickens, their lives are in danger, and every possible outcome looks dire. At least three times during the movie, though, Tom comments on the pervasive calm of the alleged spy. “You don’t seem worried.” “Are you ever worried?”

On each occasion, the response is the same, “Would it help?”

Would it help? Would worry ever help? Today I came across this verse yet again. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). In other words, when you worry, does it help? Of course, the answer is, “No, not a bit.” Worry wouldn’t have helped that spy, and worry never helps us. I even waste time worrying about whether or not I’ve made the right decision after the decision in question is in the past and irrevocable. How foolish that is!

So today I’m going to stop writing entirely and point you to Matthew 6:15-34, a portion of what we’ve come to call The Sermon on the Mount. It comes just a few verses down from The Lord’s Prayer. I’ve quoted it before, but it bears repeating over and over again. In order to encourage you to read the passage twice, I’ve provided it in two versions, first the NIV and then the Amplified Bible. Enjoy, and may you be free of worry today!

“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? Look 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If 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? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

“Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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