Kenneth Cole Schneider
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When Jesus taught his disciples about being perfect, he told them not to worry about anything – even basic necessities like food and clothing. But our worries are just getting started there. How can we not worry, when there’s so much to worry about? Pastor Luke looks at Matthew 6:25–34 in “Borrowed Trouble,” part 4 of his 5-part series “Being Perfect.”
Talk It Over
OPEN. 1. Where, on a scale from 1 (worrywart) to 10 (carefree), have you found yourself most often this week? Where was Jesus during his earthly ministry?
1b. (Bonus question) Insouciant, nonchalant, blasé — why does English have so many French words for “unworried?”
UNPACK. Read Matthew 6: 25–34.
2. In this passage, does your translation say “worry,” or “be anxious?” Does the meaning change significantly if you substitute the other word?
3. The worries that Jesus mentions (food and clothing) are basic needs. Is it as easy to worry about non-essentials (your appearance, for example) as it is about essentials? Why or why not?
4. Since Jesus knew that birds sometimes go hungry and even starve, what is the point of his observation in v. 26?
5. Jesus asks a question in v. 26. What is the answer? Why do you say so?
6. Read Matthew 10: 29–30. What does v. 29 suggest about the value of birds? What does v. 30 say about the value of humans?
7. Jesus sometimes calls his disciples by the nickname “little-faiths” (as in Matthew 6: 30). What is the relationship between worry and faith? (Consider Matthew 13: 18–23.)
8. What does it mean to strive or seek (v. 33) the Kingdom of God?
APPLY. 9. Consider the nature of your worries. What is the context (a time, place, or someone’s presence) where you are most prone to worry? What does it say about the nature of your worries?
10. If the antidote to worry is trusting God, what can you do in that anxiety-provoking context to remind yourself about God’s faithfulness?
11. When was the last time you took time to look at flowers or birds? What can you do to be more obedient to these commandments of Jesus?