Things The Gentiles Seek
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matt 6:31-34).
Today we see so many in the church working long hours or even two jobs, sending the wife out to work, and often the older teenagers. We have to wonder if they truly are trusting God. They drive the newest cars and SUV's, have a new multistory home, and even a boat or camper in the back yard. They have parties and go to all the sports events and clubs. Then they worry about losing all they have mortgaged or charged to the credit cards.
Judging from the scripture above, the Gentiles (in the figurative sense) were deemed to be destitute of the true doctrines of religion, and unacquainted with proper dependence on God, heathens in every sense of the word. According to this verse, they made it their chief anxiety to seek food and clothing, whereas Christians, who have knowledge of the Father in Heaven, who know that He will provide for their needs, should not be anxious for those things. Christians should seek first His kingdom, seek first to be righteous, and seek His favor, while understanding that all necessary things will be added to them. God, who has control over all things, can give Christians what they need. He WILL give Christians what HE deems best.
Should we be concerned with earthly pleasures? Should we strive to fit into the world's pattern, where our physical possessions and appearances are more important than our souls and our service to our Creator? Do we want to imitate the worst kind of pagans in our daily living and in our goals? God, our heavenly Father, is infinite in wisdom, and knows all our needs. It is the attribute of a wise and tender father to provide necessities, and not superfluities, for his children.
Numerous passages admonish Christians to be different, better, more focused on spiritual things (Luke 12:29-31; Eph 4:17-19). Christians are not to think like the Gentiles, who consider only their fleshly desires, their physical needs for fun and fulfillment. They are greedy for the things of the world and will worry themselves sick to obtain them.
One thing that surprised me several years ago was to realize that even the way we choose a mate is important with God. We should not lust after a mate nor should we "take a wife" the same way the Gentiles do (1 Thes 4:3-5). Our choices in a partner should be based on spiritual qualities and spiritual goals we have. However, even the Gentiles knew that committing incest was wrong (1 Cor 5:1).
How much easier our lives would be, how easy to overcome worry, if we truly depended on God for our every need and if we trusted Him in our relationships with each other.
Published in The Old Paths Archive