In Matthew Chapter 6, verses 25-34, Jesus addresses our most frequent life concerns – worries about what we will eat, drink and what clothing we will wear. He reminds us that since we are valuable to him, he knows we need these things, and he is able to provide for us in the same way that he provides for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field who are less valuable to him than we are.
In verse 33, Jesus tells us that instead of worrying, we should ‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Jesus was not dismissing our basic human needs. Instead, he was cautioning against undue worries about these human concerns at the expense of what he knows should be our greatest priority, which is seeking God’s Kingdom.
Seeking God’s kingdom involves a move away from self-centred living or a preoccupation with ourselves and prioritising those things that are important to God. This also starts with us acknowledging that none of us is without failings or sin (Romans 3:23) and because of that, we are all in need of a saviour. It also means we use God’s commandments as a sure guide for living our lives (Matthew 19:17).
In seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, we also learn to look at the difficulties of this life in a different light. We are not unduly alarmed by the events that alarm others, because we know that while everything may seem out of control sometimes, God is always in control, and we are safe in his arms. Knowing God is faithful and cares for us displaces fear and worry, giving us hope and peace of mind. What better way to face the year, 2024?