“A call to reorientation to align our lives to what God knows we need rather than what the world wants us to think.”
– GARY HOAG
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matthew 6:31-32
“This is difficult teaching! It strikes at the key values of our culture: impress others, amass as many goods as possible, and do not depend on anyone else. These values are so pervasive that we no longer recognize them easily as non-gospel. We do not bat an eye at the way they shape our imaginations; we do not recognize our surrender to those things instead of to God. We recognize that we are anxious but don’t perceive that these very values are creating much of our anxiety…
Jesus is calling us today to assess the idols made evident by our worrying. So now I read it differently. I hear Jesus saying, “Let the idols that are keeping you awake at night go. They are false idols that will consume you.” I also hear a call to reorientation, for God knows what I need, and if I pay attention, I might align my financial life to the needs that God knows, instead of needs that the world wants me to think it knows. And through that, I will find a salvation that I never thought possible: the freedom from the anxiety of my idol worship.”
Juan Huertas in Saving Grace: Hope-Filled Devotions Along the Way to Financial Well-Being (Nashville: Abingdon, 2020) 11-12.
In today’s Scripture, Jesus shines light on the fact that pagans don’t know any better than to worry about even the most basic things in life. This is difficult teaching, for sure.
Huertas reveals that this worrying reveals our idols. So, the words of Jesus come into view as a call to reorientation to align our lives to what God knows we need rather than what the world wants us to think.
This causes us practically speaking to experience freedom rather than anxiety. But we have to let go of those idols, those things the world tells us we need. What idols do you hold onto?
Others have noted that deliverance from this worldly entrapment comes from radical obedience and generous giving. As we continue in the new year, what might reorientation look like for you?
What do you need to let go of?
Originally posted on Generosity Monk.