The Gospel of Matthew: How Much More Will God.

27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (Matthew 6:27 (ESV)

Many people spend hours of their day worrying. They are consumed by the anxiety of what could, might, and perhaps will happen, or not happen, in their lives; or in the lives of others. They worry about their health, their kids, money, the government, society, and a countless list of other issues.

Worrying is a never ending downward cycle of ineffective living. Why? It is because nothing is accomplished by anxiety. Jesus said, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? The obvious answer to this rhetorical question is a resolute no. Worrying accomplishes nothing.

The Greek text reads this way. “And who among you by being anxious is able to add one hour to his life span?” The phrase life span (ἡλικία; helikia) can not only refer to a period of time, as it does here, but also maturity of age (John 9:21-23) and the measurement of length or height; eighteen inches (Luke 2:52; 12:25; 19:3; Eph. 4:13).

“The word ἡλικιαν [hēlikian] is used either of height (stature) or length of life (age). Either makes good sense here, though probably “stature” suits the context best. Certainly anxiety will not help either kind of growth, but rather hinder by auto-intoxication if nothing more. This is no plea for idleness, for even the birds are diligent and the flowers grow,” explains Greek scholar A.T. Robertson.

“The point is that worry cannot accomplish even a little thing. Since it would be a rather large thing to add eighteen inches of height, Jesus must mean that we cannot add an hour to our life. Indeed, some say, the stress of worry may cost us a few hours of life. But certainly, worry, by itself, cannot lengthen our life span. Therefore, we should commit our energies to places where they can make a difference, by seeking first the kingdom of God,” states commentator Daniel M. Doriani.

“Some of us are more prone to anxiety than others. Yet as we read in today’s passage, persistent worry is not our calling as Christians. We need not be anxious about tomorrow if we are serving Jesus, for while we may not get all of our wants, He will certainly give us all of our needs. If you are struggling with anxiety this day, take your eyes off yourself and do a good deed for another person. Then, ask God to help you learn how to trust in Him confidently,” concludes Dr. R. C. Sproul.

Soli deo Gloria!

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