40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 7

Do not worry! Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry. But in truth, they are what cause anxiety. The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries. We desire to secure our lives with earthly goods; we want our worrying to make us worry-free, but the truth is the opposite. The chains which bind us to earthly goods, the clutches which hold the goods tight, are themselves worries.

Abuse of earthly goods consists of using them as a security for the next day. Worry is always directed toward tomorrow. But the goods are intended only for today in the strictest sense. It is our securing things for tomorrow which makes us so insecure today. It is enough that each day should have its own troubles. Only those who put tomorrow completely into God’s hand and receive fully today what they need for their lives are really secure. Receiving daily liberates me from tomorrow.

Biblical Wisdom

“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:33-34

Questions to Ponder

  • If “worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries,” how might one stop worrying?
  • How can we tell the difference between what we really “need” for our lives and what we think we need but really only want? Can we be content with what we really need?
  • Practically speaking, what would it mean to stop our “abuse of earthly goods” and “put tomorrow completely into God’s hand”?

Psalm Fragment

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
   All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
   and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
   in your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9

Journal Reflections

  • Write down your worries of today.
  • Reflect on why you have these worries.
  • How many of them have to do with things you have or want to have?
  • Explore ways in which trusting God for today and tomorrow might relieve your worry and fear.

Intercessions

Pray for the people you know who are worried or afraid. Ask God to deliver them from their worries by increasing their trust in God’s providential care.

Prayer for Today

Lord, I place my worries in your gracious hand and live this day trusting that you are with me and that what I have is more than I need.

40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.

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