Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Growth Opportunities: Don't Worry, Be Happy!

There is a song from the '80s by Bobby McFerrin that had a catchy little chorus.  I think it may have been a remake, but not sure...

Don't worry, be happy!  Don't worry, be happy now!

The tune was in a reggae style and when you heard this song, you couldn't help but sing along and smile.

You know, Jesus talked quite a bit about worry and anxiety.  We have all read the scriptures over and over and heard countless sermons about how bad worry is.  Matthew 6:25-33
25 - Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are?
27 Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature?
28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin,
29but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much rather clothe you, little-faiths?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed?
32For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Worrying and being anxious over something is not productive for us and only increases our stress and anxiety.  We open a door to fear to enter into our lives and we are in essence telling God we do not believe He is big enough or capable enough to fulfill His promises and His Word.  There are some keys in the scriptures above that tell us worry is useless. 
  1. Worry is not a reasonable response to the situation. (v.25) He is saying life is more than clothing and more than food, so why are worrying about the basic needs?
  2. Worry is not a natural response to the situation. (v. 26) The natural response should be our Father will provide our needs just as He does the birds of the air.
  3. Worry is not helpful in the situation. (v. 27) Worry is not productive and does not benefit us in anyway.
  4. Worry is not necessary in the situation. (v. 30) God provides for those that are His.  He will take care of and provide for us in every situation we face.
  5. Worry is the same as unbelief. (v. 31, 32) We act as if God does not exist and we are no better than the Gentiles that seek after all the same earthly things.
Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to us.  It's about priorities.  Where are our priorities?  Are they earth bound or Heaven bound?  If we aren't to worry, then what are we supposed to focus on?  How are we to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Phillipians 4:8 - Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things.

We must shift our thinking away from ourselves and focus on something other than our problems.  Using Phillipians 4:8 to help us realign our priorities and focus on the things that are important is a good way to change our attitudes toward our situation. 

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