It’s Easter weekend, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my discipleship to Christ. As I contemplate, one thing that comes to mind is how anxiety causes me to become self-absorbed. This realization was eye-opening for me because I now understand that being anxious not only affects me but also those around me. Going forward, I aim to be more mindful of my anxiety and not allow it to impact my behavior and actions towards others.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Christ addresses the topic of anxiety, but the meaning of his words can be challenging to decipher from the King James Version. When reading phrases such as “Take no thought for the morrow” and “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature,” it’s easy to misunderstand His message. At face value, it may seem as though He’s advising us not to think about our future or neglect our own well-being. However, a deeper examination of Christ’s words in a different bible tranlsation clarifies His message.
The ESV says, “do not be anxious about your life” and “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”. These seem so clear now. I came to understand that my attempts to control daily circumstances were pointless and ultimately unhelpful. By doing so, I worsen my own anxiety and quality of life, as well as potentially impacting others.
I especially love what Christ says at the end of the chapter in the ESV version. The verse “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” resonates deeply. This teaching says to me that day-to-day life has enough trouble and worry, so I don’t need to attach myself to it and add more trouble and worry. Instead, it’s important to focus on the present and trust that tomorrow will take care of itself.
After reading through the Sermon on the Mount, it’s clear that Christ’s teachings go beyond just personal well-being. He has a call to action to prioritize the well-being of others as well. He asks if we can spare something for someone in need, or refrain from passing judgment on someone who we believe has wronged us. For me, becoming more aware of how anxiety influences my thoughts and actions has helped me take a step back and consider how I can better serve others.
Christ’s teachings on anxiety have had a significant impact on my life. There was a time when I was focused on my own quality of life that I overlooked the well-being of others. Since then, I’ve come to deeply understand the importance of being kind and gentle to those around me. Of course, there are still moments that test my resolve, but I see these as opportunities to practice Christ’s teachings. By focusing on what truly matters and not being consumed by anxiety, I strive to demonstrate my devotion to Him.