Stop smoking. Start exercising. Stop eating fast food. Start eating broccoli. Stop crossing without looking both ways. Start walking instead of driving. Stop adding salt. Start adding vitamins. Stop drinking alcohol. Start drinking red wine.

The list of advice regarding how to live a longer life is endless and often contradictory. Yet we absorb these recommendations and then regurgitate them with amazing confidence, certain that whatever tidbit heard last is the surefire guarantor of a long life.

But adding a day, or a month, or a year, or even a decade…is that the point? Is that really all that we’re concerned with?

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“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” Jesus, from Matthew 6:27

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We are all well-informed of the disastrous things that worry causes: stress, heart disease, country music, high blood pressure, wrinkles, and even Bobby McFerrin songs that inexplicably reach #1. Many times we approach this question Jesus asked about worry the same way we approach the latest fad for reaching 100 years of age.

Worry won’t add time to your life, so don’t worry and you’ll live longer, we reason.

But Jesus died around the age of 33. Half of his original disciples, according to traditional and historical records, were put to death, prematurely ending their lives because they followed him and spread his message. And based on many of the things that Jesus said in the Gospels, I don’t think that living a long life topped his list of important things to do before you die.

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“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:27

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What if Jesus wasn’t talking about adding hours on to the END of our lives, but inserting quality hours INTO our lives?

What if he knew that worrying about income would keep us from doing the thing we loved? What if he knew that worrying about rejection would keep us from love? What if he knew that worrying about failure would keep us from trying? What if he knew that worrying about the future would keep us from living, really living, in the present?

What are you worrying about? How is it taking away from your life?

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Other posts about questions Jesus asked:
“If You Are Kind Only to Your Friends…”
“What Are You Looking For?”