Once again, let’s memorize these questions.
- What do I know for sure?
- Do I care to know?
- How can I be sure?
- Does it matter?
- What can I do?
So far we’ve talked about the following:
Let’s now move on to the next question: “Does it matter?”
This is an interesting question. Most people, especially when they are stressed out or upset about something, do not normally pause to examine whether what they are so concerned about really matters or not. In many cases, it doesn’t really matter at all, but they feel so strongly about it. So they act out their frustration and everyone else suffers from their wrath or rant.
There are three levels of concerns, and it’s important that we evaluate each stressful situation with this question: “Does it matter?”
Level One: Future Concerns
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?26 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? 27 Can 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. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matthew 6:25-32)
This is the most common concern that contributes to our stress. We imagine the worst case scenario in the future. We assume that it will most likely happen. We worry about it in the present. The result? Mega stress! Now the future is of course important. But it’s not the most important. It’s just Level One. So we must not allow ourselves with Level One concerns, but simply trust God who is in control of the future. We are important to Him, more important than birds and grass. We are safe in His arms as we live in His great universe. So don’t treat future concerns as if they are the most important. Remember, it’s just Level One.
Level Two: Present Concerns
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
Now, more important than future concerns are present concerns. They are Level Two concerns. Don’t neglect present concerns just because you’re worried about future possibilities. We need to value present relationships, roles and responsibilities. We must face those daily challenges by faith. But then again, let’s not fret too much, as if present concerns are the only important things in this world. For example, we only think about our family, work, school, love life, etc. Some of us only think about such concerns, but we don’t consider that there are other things far more important. Remember, these are just Level Two concerns.
Level Three: Eternal Concerns
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
This is the most important concern, according to Jesus. It’s way above Level One and Two. It’s our Level Three concern. In fact, when we prioritize this concern, all other concerns will be taken cared of. We need to trust God for Level One and Two concerns, doing only what we need to do and can do. But we must invest our energies in pursuing God’s kingdom and righteousness above all these things. Some of us neglect this ultimate concern for the sake of lesser concerns. Remember, this is Level Three, and it’s the most important concern.
Not everything that we think is important matters. We must learn to discern the importance of whatever it is we are worried about. So what are you worrying about lately? Does it matter?
Read Part 5