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Worry Is a Useless Sin

Devotions
According to a recent study, vinegar may be a natural “fat-fighter.” Past research has shown that the main ingredient in vinegar, acetic acid, might help in controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The new study found that vinegar, renowned in folk medicine for centuries, can also help prevent the accumulation of body fat and thus slow down weight gain.

Most of us are eager to hear about remedies to improve health. Worry, on the other hand, is useless (v. 27). It can’t add an inch to your height or a day to your life. Who needs to be told such an obvious truth? We do, and Jesus knew it. The sin of worry is such an everyday thing that we sometimes forget how ridiculous it is. Do we really think God won’t provide?

That’s the meaning of today’s reading from the Sermon on the Mount. “There- fore” (v. 25) refers back to the previous verse’s insight, “You cannot serve both God and money” (v. 24). They pull a person in opposite directions. Only one can be your master. Since that is so, we are not to worry about material things, that is, what money can buy. Serving God means trusting Him to provide for our needs.

Since God provides, worrying about food or clothing is pointless (vv. 26, 28–29). It accomplishes nothing. By contrast, neither birds nor flowers make any effort, yet they are fed and “clothed” by the Lord. Flowers, in fact, are “clothed” more beautifully than any amount of human riches could achieve. These natural object lessons make worry look absurd!

Worry contributes nothing to steward- ship. It is not part of prudence or wisdom. It robs us of inner peace and contentment because it shows a lack of faith in our loving Father (v. 30).

Apply the Word

Worry is an oft-unnoticed sin in American culture. Even if we don’t think we’re materialistic, we’re influenced by our culture to expect high levels of material comfort, and thus we can be focused on such things in ways that are unhealthy and time- consuming—or even sinful. Pray for an open heart as we study worry and contentment this month.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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