Wasn’t that a great song. I remember when that song first came out we were living in Tennessee at the time. Now I have a confession to make I prefer two types of music either oldies from the 50,s or music from the eighties. “Don’t Worry Be Happy” doesn’t fit into either one of those categories. So I was ignorant of the song at first, I mean I heard people humming the tune on the street or other people singing little snippets from the song but it wasn’t until I heard a man named Tyler Comis singing it one night while we were working.. For some reason the song just stuck with me. And so I thought to myself, “Self, you’d better find out what this is all about.” And I discovered that this song written and performed by a virtually unknown artist by the name of Bobby McFerrin was the number one song on the American and Canadian pop charts.
You heard it this morning: “Here’s a little song I wrote You might want to sing it note for note Don’t worry, be happy. In every life we have some trouble But when you worry you make it double Don’t worry, be happy. Don’t worry, be happy now.” And so it goes, and then if the song wasn’t enough Bobby went and wrote a book with another 200 verses.
A cute song but not a completely new concept.
Paul tells the believers in the city of Philippi the same thing 2000 years ago.
Did you catch it in Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
In that scripture Paul is basically saying “Don’t worry, be happy” But that is a lot easier said then done, I mean even though millions of copies of Bobby McFerrins record were sold around the world it didn’t seem to have a major impact on how people live. Sometimes we think “Great as if I didn’t have enough to worry about now I have to worry about worrying”
The book of Philippians is the 11th book in the New Testament and was written by Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome. It was addressed to all of God’s people in Philippi, If we pull down our trusty map we discover that Philippi was situated in Greece. This church was actually started by Paul and was the first Christian church in Europe. The letter was written around 62AD and the reason it was written was to thank the Philippians for their giving and to urge them to greater unity.
The first thing that I want to note this morning is the word that Paul used for worry in the Greek is the same one that Jesus used in the Sermon on the Mount and it actually meant “an anxious worry”, and it conveys a sense of anxiety. When your child walks to school you may be concerned about his safety on the way there, that’s not a problem. But if you become consumed with that worry to point of not being able to function, then you have a problem. There is a world of difference between concern and anxious worry.
I would suspect that Paul is going back to the Jesus’ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount to rationalize this concept of not becoming tied up in worry..
1) Worry is needless, useless and dangerous.
Now that is not to say that we shouldn’t be concerned with the material things of life, or with providing for our families. But listen up, will worry provide those things that we need? Nope, not at all. A wise man once said, “Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” Worry is essential wasted energy, energy which could be used a lot more productively some where else.
Through high school I worked at Mervyns, and then for a while in the nineties I sold Vacuums, both of those jobs paid commission. And every once in a while we’d get a new salesman on the floor who just wasn’t cut out for commission sales. It wasn’t that they couldn’t sell; on straight salary they were terrific. But when their next pay cheque depended on their…