So do not worry saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. NIV
So, I’m pretty sure that this passage in Matthew is part of what is called the Sermon on the Mount. The book of Matthew goes on for pages with Christ providing practical advice on how to live a Godly life. “Do Not Worry,” is a subheading, along with, in my bible, “The Beatitudes,” “Love for Enemies,” “Giving to the Needy,” “Fasting,” “Treasures in Heaven,” “Judging Others,” “The Narrow and Wide Gates,” “A Tree and Its Fruit,” and “The Wise and Foolish Builders.”
It is very interesting to me that “Do Not Worry” is the only command among these many subheadings.
As I think about the elements over which these verses say that I should not be worrying, they seem to me to correspond to the bottom rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As I remember it, Maslow hypothesized that we as humans could not move up the hierarchy and/or exhibit unselfish behaviors until our basic needs — food, water, shelter, clothing — were met.
Yet, Christ calls us to abandon worrying over these basic needs and to rest in the assurance that our heavenly father knows that we need them. Instead, we are to seek FIRST the Kingdom of God, and THEN we will be provided with the necessities of life.
It is upside down from Maslow’s thinking. And, the verse says that — it says that “the pagans run after these things.” As a Christian, I am called to live differently.
Today, I will adhere to the guidance in this passage — “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” The Message