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Summary: This message compares Matthew 6 to the classic Bobby McFerrin song of the same title.

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Don’t Worry Be Happy

The song Don’t Worry Be Happy was a late 80’s chart buster as it gained phenomenal success for such a simple song. The lyrics written by Bobby McFerrin were copied from original Indian sage from the late 1800’s whose mantra was one of peace. I remember the first time I heard it. I was lifting weights with some serious iron pumpers when the lyrics pounced through the dolby surround sound stereo. Though it was definitely a mood killer to those of us that were lifting with a certain amount of intensity, it was definitely soothing. Despite the unusual beginnings of this now commonly used phrase, the message of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is one that is designed to relieve pressure from us all.

Psychologists say that common American worries include concerns about our retirement, hoping our salaries rise to meet spending costs, being hit by a lawsuit, accidents with our children, swine flu, and just about every major health issue. An old cliché states that worry cannot add a single day onto our lives and it’s true. With all the pressures facing us today, perhaps we should take McFerrin seriously when he states “in every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double.”

The Bible says a lot about worry, and most of the time it says NOT TO. In the passage our church’s pastor is preaching on for the next couple of weeks, Matthew 6:25-33, states "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 important than food, and the body more important 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies 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, O 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.”

Friends, worry is not just a bad idea, it is sin. In a nation that is coming increasingly close to double digit unemployment, has tens of thousands of foreclosed houses, and can’t even seem to smuggle the Olympic Games away from South America to Chicago, there seems to be just reason to worry about things like rent and food. But as Christians we will not. We will rest in the blessed assurance that our savior who died on the cross 2000 years ago for our future, will also take care of us in the present. Amen.


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