I was asked to comment on Matthew 6:34 where Christ said the following:
- Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
At first glance it appears that Christ said to not think about tomorrow because things will take care of themselves. This statement may seem a bit odd when many people’s mindset is to look ahead and concern themselves with the problems we face in the future. I’ll attempt to address this person’s request by commenting about Matthew 6:34 in this blog post.
I do not believe Christ taught that people should not plan/prepare for the future in Matthew 6:34 because He would’ve contradicted Proverbs 22:3 if He taught that. Proverbs 22:3 characterized people who foresee problems and take proactive steps to prepare themselves as “prudent” and those who do nothing about these problems as foolish (simple).
- Pro 22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Since none of Christ’s teachings contradict the Bible I do not see how He told people that they cannot take steps to prepare for the future in Matthew 6:34. Christ was simply conveying that we should not be nervous about or afraid of the future. In addition, the argument that Christ was simply telling people to not be nervous about the future is strengthened by the fact the Greek word for “thought” in Matthew 6:34 is merimnaō which means “to be anxious about”.
- For those whose first language is not English, a person who is anxious experiences unease, nervousness, or discomfort because they are thinking about an upcoming event or an uncertain future.
Finally, another person cited Luke 14:28-31 as an example where Christ indicated that it unwise to not plan/prepare for the future.
- Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
- Luk 14:29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
- Luk 14:30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
- Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
I am confident that the world is going to be a horrible place to live in five years from now. I can easily see myself on the frontline of some war or trying to avoid getting attacked by a desperate person who has been impoverished by the financial and economic collapse that is likely going to take place soon. I can also easily envision myself having problems finding a secure supply of food, water, and energy.
- As bad as these problems sound, I am not worried about them. I rarely think about these problems and I am not shaken by them when I do think about them.
- I also do not stay up all night thinking about the future and I rarely experience a nightmare that concerns future world events (I rarely have nightmares in general).
I think the reason why I am virtually unafraid of the challenging future is that I know that all the problems ahead must happen. I cannot do anything to stop the Antichrist from appearing, I cannot stop a global economic and financial collapse, etc.
- I actually sometimes view the knowledge I have as an advantage. It is much easier for me to deal with major events when I know they are coming in advance.
In sum, I believe it is unwise to view Matthew 6:34 as a call to not prepare for the future. However, as we prepare for the future we should try our best to not be afraid of or nervous about the challenges ahead. Remember that God is control of everything. He is far more powerful than Satan and will not allow Satan to win.