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Matthew 6:25–34

“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[a]?

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. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Upon hearing this passage in a church sermon during my high school years, I found myself questioning the rationale behind the writer’s perspective.

Comparing humans to animals in terms of sustenance and work is not a direct parallel. Animals rely on instinct and natural processes to meet their basic needs, while humans have the capacity for conscious decision-making and are capable of creating systems to address their needs.

The passage provided draws upon the example of birds and lilies to emphasize the concept of trust and faith in God’s provision. It is important to note that religious texts often use metaphors and analogies to convey deeper spiritual or moral lessons rather than providing literal instructions on how to navigate the complexities of life.

In the context of addressing human needs such as sustenance, shelter, and livelihood, it is widely recognized that human effort and work are essential. Most societies advocate for individuals to take active roles in providing for themselves and their families, and this often involves education, employment, entrepreneurship, and various economic activities.

While faith and spirituality can provide comfort and guidance to individuals in facing life’s challenges, it is generally understood that practical actions and responsible decision-making are necessary to secure basic needs and work towards a better future. Humans have the capacity to create and innovate, to develop social systems and policies, and to support one another in times of need.

In summary, while religious teachings may encourage trust in God’s providence, it is crucial to recognize the importance of human agency, collective effort, and responsible actions in addressing the diverse needs of humanity.

Last Updated on February 8, 2024

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