Have you ever noticed how people, regardless of age, can possess a unique talent for treating instructions or guidelines as “loose suggestions” rather than actual rules? Like the rules are only there for decoration or gentle reminders. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or just someone who interacts with others on any level, it will have you scratching your head, wondering how things keep getting lost in translation as if it’s written in a language they simply don’t speak.

If you have teenagers, you may be nodding in agreement at this point.
However, if you aren’t nodding because your teenagers are perfect in every way, I would like to have them over for a playdate with mine in the near future. With that said, I’ve compiled a top ten list of rules that my kids seem to treat more like casual tips than non-negotiable expectations:

  1. Texting “k” is not an acceptable response to a three-paragraph message.
  2. DoorDash is not on our payroll.
  3. Putting dishes in the sink is not considered loading the dishwasher.
  4. Paying for your friends’ dinner with our credit card and then having them Venmo you doesn’t mean you get to keep the Venmo money.
  5. When we ask you to walk Tucker, it doesn’t mean from the house to the backyard.
  6. Wearing AirPods doesn’t make you invisible. When you see our mouths moving, it’s a cue to take them out.
  7. Yelling, “I can’t find it!” without actually looking does not magically make the missing item appear.
  8. Empty milk cartons don’t serve as a placeholder for future groceries.
  9. If you borrow my phone charger, please don’t steal it.
  10. Under no circumstances does your phone need its own seat at the dinner table.

It’s so interesting, isn’t it, that we can be quick to point out others’ selective hearing when it comes to rules, but we often do the same thing with God’s commands? Take, for example, the instructions “Do not worry about tomorrow” and “Be anxious for nothing.” How often do we treat these commands as mere suggestions we can choose to follow or ignore depending on our mood?

But these words from God are not simply friendly advice or optional guidelines; they are commands. Treating them as anything less is disobedience. When we choose to worry or be anxious, we are essentially saying that we know better than God – that our way of handling situations is superior to His. Just as the house rules above don’t change because our kids don’t ‘feel’ like it that day, following God’s commands should never depend on our mood.

One of God’s most powerful commands, “Be anxious for NOTHING,” releases you from the burden of worry and uncertainty. Despite its non-negotiable nature, we often treat this command as if it’s optional. Yet, the peace that comes with obedience is immeasurable. If God’s commands were arbitrary, He might have said, “Be anxious only when facing big challenges, or when feeling overwhelmed, or when there is no obvious relief in sight.” But He didn’t.

Freedom from anxiety of your tomorrows or even your today is within reach.
It’s literally yours for the taking.
Simply anchor your heart to this unshakeable truth: Be anxious for NOTHING.
And watch as the burden you thought you had to carry becomes a breakthrough to a new place of rest.