Youth Group Lesson on Worry
Bible: Matthew 6:25-27
- Enough blindfolds for half of the group.
- A screen that can play a Youtube video.
- Water Balloons.
Opening Game: Traffic Jam
Have everyone pair up in groups of two. One person will act as the car; one person will act as the driver.
The person acting as the car puts on the blindfold. Have the pairs scatter throughout the room. When you say go, the player acting as a car has to follow your instructions. Yell things like:
- Red light!
- Turn Left!
When you yell something, the player acting as the car has to immediately follow your instructions. The player acting as the driver must help the “car” avoid hitting other cars by using only their words.
For example, if you say “turn left” and the player acting as the car turns left, but there’s another car there, the drive would yell, “stop!” When a car hits another car, both of those cars and drivers are out of the game.
The final team who has not crashed or been crashed into wins!
Lesson – Worry
Say – That was quite the fiasco! Now, I have a question for all the people who were cars. Where you worried at all that your driver was going to steer you the wrong way and you were going to crash?
If so, why didn’t you take the blindfold off and stop playing? Well, because then you would have missed out on the fun of the game.
It’s the same way in life—the things we worry about are either going to happen or not happen, and sitting around worrying about them only makes us miss out on life.
If we were to all go around the room and list out all the things we worry about, we would be here all week.But do you know what else? We would probably also laugh at each other. Because there are some things that, once you say them out loud, you realize just how silly it is to be worrying over them.
If you look in the Bible, though, you’ll see that worrying isn’t only just silly. It’s actually the opposite of what God wants us to do.
Read Matthew 6:25-27:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Say – When you read the end of the verse, doesn’t it make worrying seem so stupid? Because it’s right, worrying doesn’t add any amount of time to our life. In fact, it does the opposite—it takes away from the life we already have.
Now, I need a volunteer. I need someone who is willing to get wet.
Okay, you’re going to stand here and worry. Why? Because I’m going to throw these water balloons at you, that’s why. But the good news is, I’m going to give you a few seconds to worry. Maybe if you worry hard enough, the water balloons won’t hit you. Let’s try it.
Throw a few water balloons.
Okay, so that’s a silly example. But isn’t that how we act sometimes? We know that worrying won’t change anything.
So why do we still worry?
This is one of those verses where it’s almost like Jesus is talking right to you through it. Like He’s saying, “Hey, you worry a lot. Why do you do that? What’s the worst that can happen? So what if you don’t have any food or clothes. Don’t you think I’ll take care of you?”
And really, when we worry, we act like we don’t think He’s going to take care of us. We worry over things that, in the grand scheme of life, are pretty small. We worry about grades and friendships, curfews and colleges, opinions and jobs. And yes, all of these things are important, and they’re things we should work hard and care about.
However, if we spend our time worrying, it’s basically like we’re saying, “Hey Jesus, I know You said You’d be there for me no matter what, but I’m not sure that I believe you. I know You’re supposed to be enough for me, but I’m not sure that you are.”
That’s just crazy talk!
Put on the video of the flowers blooming while you read this verse. You can mute the music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lENTji39i4k
Read Matthew 6:28-34:
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 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. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
To me, this is one of the most beautiful passages in the entire Bible. It’s like there’s a picture being painted of just how much God really cares about us, and just how much He is always going to take care of us.
Let’s look at how.
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you?”
Let’s be honest—how many of you have worried about clothes? Isn’t it funny that this verse, which is so many years old, references a problem we still deal with today?
Of course we worry about clothes. We worry about money to buy clothes, and then we worry about which clothes we should buy. We worry about which clothes we should wear to which places. We worry about what other people are going to think about our clothes. We worry, worry, and worry.
And it’s ridiculous.
Have you stopped and looked at any flowers lately? I mean, look at those in that video! Sure, flowers are gorgeous. But when you think of how all that color and beauty and shape and smell just grew right out of the dirt—that’s amazing.
And this verse is right, flowers are more beautiful that even the richest king’s clothing.
The God who created those flowers—those stunning, incredible flowers that outshine royalty—loves us so much more than He loves those flowers. So why would we even waste a second of our lives worrying about clothes?
“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.”
These are such reassuring words. They just reiterate that God already knows what we need. Our heavenly Father is well aware of exactly what we need. It’s like a little love letter from Heaven, reminding us that everyone needs these things, but we don’t have to worry about them, because He already knows we need them.That’s just amazing.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Well, if that isn’t the clearest instruction, I don’t know what is. We’re very clearly told not to worry, but to place our focus somewhere else. And that somewhere else is seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness. After that, everything will fall into place exactly how it should.
Isn’t that a relief? Now, this doesn’t mean that you have permission to just slack off of everything and throw caution to the wind, claiming that God will take care of everything as long as you read your Bible and pray.
That’s not what this verse means. There’s a difference between working hard and worrying. God calls us to work hard and not be lazy. But instead of worrying about those things, He calls us to seek eternal things, not temporary things. Seek what really matters, and everything else will follow.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Now isn’t that just the truth. Tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not, so just let tomorrow worry about itself. There’s too much to think about and to do today to have the time or energy to worry about tomorrow.
It’s in incredible gift to be able to lay your head on your pillow at night and be able to tell the God who created everything you see that you trust Him. You may have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but you know that He’ll be there and that, because He cares for you, He will take care of you.
Now, how do you avoid worrying?
Read Philippians 4:6
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Next time you start to worry about something, I want to remember this verse. This verse gives you a clear formula for how to deal with worry. Are you ready?
- No matter what the situation is, do not be anxious.
- With a thankful heart, pray and tell God what you need.
That’s it! Seem too easy? Well, when you have a God who’s got your best interests in mind, who you can talk to at any time, it really is.
Small Group Discussion Questions:
1. What are some things you spend a lot of time worrying about?
2. Do you agree with the statement that worrying is acting like you don’t believe God’s promises?
3. How does it feel to know that God cares about you and is going to take care of you?
4. Does the flower analogy put into perspective how silly it is to worry about clothes?
5. What are some ways you can seek the kingdom of Heaven first?
6. Why do you think we worry so much, even though we know God will take care of us?
7. Why do you think God tells us not to worry?
8. Does talking to God about the things your anxious about help you worry less?
9. Would it hurt your feelings if you told your best friend you were going to bring them lunch, but they spent the whole morning telling everyone they were worried that they weren’t going to have anything to eat that day? Do you think that’s how God feels when we worry about things He’s already said He’d take care of?
10. What can you do this week that will help remind you to not worry?
Teach – Closing
The temptation to worry is never going to go away. There are always going to be things in your life that you could worry about. You just have to choose to not worry about them.
But here’s the thing—after reading those verses and seeing how much God loves and cares for you, how could you not choose to give up worry?
The next time you start to worry, do like that verse in Philippians says, and talk to God about it. If you still struggle with worry, sit down and open your Bible. Google “God’s Promises” and look those verses up. Read those promises, and decide if you believe them or not.
If you don’t, then yes, you’ve definitely got a lot to worry about. More than you could ever deal with on your own. But if you do trust in those promises, what an amazing gift you have. It’s a gift of knowing that someone is looking out for you and providing for you. It’s a gift of knowing that someone is taking care of you.
It’s a gift of knowing you don’t have to worry.