Matthew 6:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 6:27, NIV: "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

Matthew 6:27, ESV: "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"

Matthew 6:27, KJV: "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?"

Matthew 6:27, NASB: "And which of you by worrying can add a singleday to hislife’s span?"

Matthew 6:27, NLT: "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?"

Matthew 6:27, CSB: "Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying?"

What does Matthew 6:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus is teaching about money's place in the hearts and minds of God's people. To live for the purpose of building wealth on earth for oneself, He has said, is like living with bad eyes. It creates moral darkness inside a person. Instead, God's people should live in light by serving Him, not money (Matthew 6:19–24). Next, Jesus commanded His followers to reject anxiety about money, even if they don't know what they will eat or wear. Worrying about money when you don't have any still amounts to serving money instead of God. Those who serve God trust God to provide all they truly need. Worry is evidence of faulty faith (Matthew 6:25–26).

Here Jesus points out another problem with anxiety, fear, and worry: they're useless. They don't work. They don't help. Those emotions are powerless, so far as those actual needs are concerned. Anxiety is a natural human response—especially when you're wondering how to feed your family. Still, it's a brute fact that worry, in and of itself, can't add a single hour to anyone's life. Worry is ineffective.

Of course, many will protest that anxiety is not like a hat: it's not simply something we can remove. God knows this, and understands how difficult it is to put trust in God when times are difficult. In fact, this is why these reminders are in Scripture. If being a born-again believer made all our fears and doubts disappear, there would be no reason for God to remind us not to worry! Jesus will continue in this passage to show why it is essential for God's people to make an effort to shed worry.