Day 50: Matthew 6:27

Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?

[This is a continuation of Jesus’ teaching about materialism and worrying.  He is explaining to his disciples how they can bemore faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires.” (See Day 23)].

I’m not even going to comment on this.  I’m going to let the medical community comment for me: (from http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/how-worrying-affects-your-body)

How Worrying Affects the Body

Are you an excessive worrier? Perhaps you subconsciously think that if you “worry enough,” you can prevent bad things from happening. But the fact is, worrying can affect the body in ways that may surprise you. When worrying becomes excessive, it can lead to feelings of high anxiety and even cause you to be physically ill.

What Happens With Excessive Worrying?

Worrying is feeling uneasy or being overly concerned about a situation or problem. With excessive worrying, your mind and body go into overdrive as you constantly focus on “what might happen.”

In the midst of excessive worrying, you may suffer with high anxiety — even panic — during waking hours. Many chronic worriers tell of feeling a sense of impending doom or unrealistic fears that only increase their worries. Ultra-sensitive to their environment and to the criticism of others, excessive worriers may see anything — and anyone — as a potential threat.

Chronic worrying affects your daily life so much that it interferes with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.

Sometimes I think people forget that they are going to die.  They think that if they eat healthy foods, run in marathons, go to the gym, give up smoking, do yoga, stay thin, have a positive attitude, and get annual checkups they will live forever.  It isn’t true.  Jim Fixx, who popularized running as a part of a healthy lifestyle, died of a heart attack at the age of 52.  On the other hand, my father – who had the Spanish flu as a child, smoked, ate junk food, and played with fire and toxic chemicals all his adult years – lived to be 93.  He drove and lived independently until the last year of his life.  They say it’s all in the genes.  There’s not much you can do about it.  He lived longer than my mom, who spent about half her life worrying that he would die first and leave her alone.  All that time she spent worrying was time wasted.  Like it says in Proverbs 17:22, “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.”

So even today medical science must concede that Jesus had it right.  Worrying will not increase your lifespan.  If anything it will reduce it.  The reality is that there isn’t much you can do to increase the length of your life by more than a couple of years so you might as well relax and enjoy the ride.  Dr. Jesus knows his people. The shepherd knows his sheep. Then and now.  Yes he does.

What does this scripture say to you?

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