As I thought about our modern western society and some of our troubles I was going to make the title for this devotional, “The Curse of Advertising”.
One of the very dangerous things we face in the western world is the onslaught of advertising that has been designed by psychologists. Psychologists have carefully determined what appeals to the public and they have helped companies shape their advertising to attract people based on their instincts.
Advertising may be subtle or advertising may be blunt. Whatever the approach we must be wary of the temptation to buy on an impulse. It is easy to have the persuasive aspects of the advertising take control of our minds and cause us to choose the product in the ad.
While advertisers would not likely admit it, much advertising appeals to our sense of greed. The product looks so delicious, or necessary to our happiness. I was shocked to Google the expression “indulge yourself”, and find that there is a whole school of thinking that urges us to be pleasure seekers.
In our verse today, Jesus seeks to bring His listeners back to reality by making the very strong statement that we should not concern ourselves with worrying about what to eat, drink and wear. Eating is essential to continued life. Water is also required. Clothes to keep us warm and protected from the weather are also necessary to sustain life.
How can we keep from worry about these needed things to keep us alive? In the context of our verse Jesus calls on us to look at the birds that do not sow, reap, or store away food for winter. Somehow they manage. Then Jesus asks,
“Are you not much more important to God than birds are?”
Of course we are more important to God. Once we establish that fact, Jesus then calls on us to go on seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. Actively submit to the Lord and His will for you is the message of Jesus. God knows we need all those other things.
If you are a child of God, you sin against Him if you worry about your daily necessities. Worry is distrust or lack of faith. If your children worried about how mom and dad were going to provide for them you would be upset. You want your children to trust you and not be concerned about things that are your responsibility as parents.
What Jesus is saying is that first we need to seek God and His kingdom. He is not suggesting we should not seek life’s necessities. Instead we should put God’s kingdom above even our daily need of food and clothing. If we put God first we shall discover that the other needed things shall come along as well. That is the promise. So, as Jesus says,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)