Resisting Reductionism

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 12:22-34 (NIV)


Worrying about food and clothing is a reduction of life from what God intends for us.  It reduces us to focusing our energy on the lowest common denominator.  Gradually, what we once might have done for the sake of survival becomes a way of life for us.  Because these items are vital to our health and welfare, we fear not having them.  That fear causes us to be fixated on acquiring more and more in the pursuit safety and security.

But it is an illusion.  One that can be easily shattered by adversity.  Jesus tells us to not be preoccupied with the things that most people spend their time and energy on--bigger, better, more.  It is really a statement about trusting our relationship with him.  Believing these things will be taken care of by the Father if we will use our resources to build His Kingdom and not our own.  The irony is that despite our failed plans, we continue to rely on them, forsaking a prince's inheritance for a pauper's.  It is a simple proposition but a difficult one.  Trust in the Father over your fear.  


What fears are reducing my life?


Jesus, I confess my heavy reliance and the work of my hands.  I look to my own abilities before I look to yours.  I rely on controlling my environment instead of surrendering to your will.  I think by managing my circumstances and relationships, that I can bend them to my will and find peace.  But it is always a shallow serenity compared to the peace you offer.  There is no greater freedom than when I no longer need to control things around me.  Let me find an abundance in you that I could never have manufactured by my own effort.  Grant me the grace to loosen my grip and surrender to you.