“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
The third argument against anxiety is that it is useless.
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
Worry is futile. A shorter person by worry cannot add one cubit (length of forearm to the tip of the middle finger, approximately 18”) to his stature. Jesus spoke with hyperbole here. This is a totally unreasonable goal and is an exercise in extreme futility.
This phrase has the possibility of referring to adding time to one’s life.
The fourth argument against anxiety is that man’s being the crown of creation shows the futility of worry.
“So why do you worry about clothing?
The Lord takes up the issue of a basic need—clothing.
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
This is an argument from the lesser to the greater. Lilies cannot make clothes for themselves; they are uncultivated vegetation. The lesser (lilies) cannot compare to the greater provision of God’s clothing of a believer (v.30).
and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Neighboring nations viewed Solomon’s royal vestments as the standard of excellence, but even these garments were not as glorious as the lilies of the field. Solomon clothed himself, but the lilies did not clothe themselves.
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
God providentially provides for the temporal grass of the field.
will He not much more clothe you,
God guarantees clothing for followers of Christ far more than for insignificant grass in the field. If God gives abundantly to grass in the field, how much more will He do for man as the crown of creation?
O you of little faith?
The antithesis of anxiety is faith. Jesus spoke commonly of followers with “little faith” (Mt 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20). “Little faith” is failure to trust God in life’s situations.
Anxiety is a form of unbelief.
There is a worthlessness to worry. All the worry in the world does not benefit us. Anxiety and fretting does not add anything to the quality of our lives. Trust in God for basic needs is what God wants from us. Anxiety is a form of unbelief because it places the onus on us rather than on God.