The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Don't Worry, Be Happy

"Listen to what I say,
in your life expect some trouble.
When you worry you make it double,
Don't worry, be happy.
Be happy now."

Bobby McFerrin 1988

Could it possibly be that this little ditty won the Grammy for song of the year way back in 1989? It was a fun song that just had a refreshing message. "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor to your body as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Matt. 6:25) This section of Matthew ought to have made Bobby McFerrin happy...Pardon the pun...Jesus has just told us in verse 24 that we cannot serve two masters, those being God and money. To me the implication is that when one makes the choice to serve God, we have cemented our future. Three times in this section of Matthew, Jesus expresses this don't worry command. It just goes against human instinct, doesn't it! Human beings tend to be worriers...Some much more than others and willing to express those worries to anyone who will listen. Don't get either me or Jesus wrong here. Our physical needs such as food, drink and clothing must be met. These needs are the basics of our daily existence. When Jesus taught his disciples how and what to pray, he included, "give us this day our daily bread" (V 11). I believe that Jesus' teaching here is that when worry about food, drink and clothing reach an unreasonable state, that we have lost sight of God's willingness to assist us with these needs.

Jesus uses the perspective that life is more than food and the body more than clothes. I simply love the examples from nature that Jesus uses in the next few verses to illustrate his point, that being the birds and lilies. Our lesson is such a simple one here. Even though we as humans spend a great part of our lives working to put food on the table, a roof over our heads and clothing on or bodies, worrying never makes a significant difference in our lives. "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?" (V 27) There is a Rosetta Stone to all of this. It is that in not worrying, we exercise our complete faith in our God's will and his provision. The clincher for me is found at the end of verse 32..."for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." With this on our hearts, Bobby McFerrin's words can have a different ring to them..."

'Cause when you worry, your face will frown
and that will bring everybody down.
So don't worry, be happy
Don't worry, be happy now"

Have a great beginning to your week...Start it out with a RAK or two... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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