Tag Archives: Matthew 6

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

“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 than food, and the body more 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27

worry

I love the musical musings of Bobby McFerrin. He has an amazing creativity and an incredible vocal instrument. But I’m no fan of the philosophy behind his old song: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. Here’s why:

I am not a worrier…at least I do not think I am. Oh, I do worry. Some. But I don’t think of myself that way. Still, maybe I am a worrier but just not very self-aware. Could that be possible? If so, then maybe I actually worry a great deal more than I think I do. In fact, maybe it is a huge problem for me but I am just not very connected to that reality. And maybe I worry so much (without realizing it) that I could actually have a heart attack or a stroke one day because of it. Maybe I am killing myself slowly every single day and don’t even realize it. It is possible, you know. I could die any day now.

🙂  See how easy it is to worry?

I am not claiming any expertise as a worrier, but I am definitely no stranger to the notion. I have had a few stressful seasons in my life. Three years ago, my ministry’s Board of Directors passed the largest, most challenging budget in our ministry’s history. …

Checking Your Motives…um, I Mean My Motives

Tuesday Re-mix –

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 6:1

People who do not want anything to do with the church often accuse it of being “full of hypocrites”.  I have a theory about why they say that…

I have at least a couple of observations about Jesus’ words above..observations that apply directly to us as church leaders.

1.  This is not a word for you to apply to someone else…this is a Word from Jesus to you ABOUT YOU.  Even though I do get it wrong from time to time, I consider myself a student of grammar.  With all due respect to Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Stephens and Mrs. Seitz (my first three English teachers in high school) it was Ms. Peak, my 12th-grade English teacher who really convinced me that good grammar and good communication are related.  So let’s take the English translation of Jesus’ sentence in Matthew 6:1 and do some simple diagramming, shall we? (Is there anyone else out there who remembers diagramming sentences?)

mirror-or-manifying-glass“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.”  

Anybody know the subject of that sentence?  Anybody?

If you said the subject is implied and that it is an implied “You”…you get a gold star for today!  This is a word to “You”.  It is not a word about “them” or about “him” or “her”.  It is for you, and it is about you.

I once heard someone say that God’s Word is always more effective as a mirror than as a magnifying glass.  I love that concept.  It is perfect.  I believe we would all become better scholars of Biblical …

The Truth Behind “It is finished.”

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matthew 6:14-15

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

This is the time of year when we, as Christ followers, remember the three events which all happened within a few weeks of each other and which changed our world forever: the crucifixion, the resurrection, and Pentecost.  Within the Christian world, different groups have tended to focus more on one of these events or another.  In my particular flavor of Christianity, we tend to focus more on the resurrection than on the other two; so much so, in fact, that I sometimes lose the practical significance of either the crucifixion or of Pentecost.  This week, as an exercise to help me balance this, I have been thinking a lot about the crucifixion.

In The Gathering this past Sunday, I challenged everyone to consider their daily routine, their life and their world without the crucifixion.  What would it look like?  What would it be like?  It made for some interesting discussion, as we each began to come to grips with what the crucifixion means to us individually.

So, I have also been asking the same question with regard to the entire church.  What does the crucifixion mean for us corporately?  What would “church” look like without it?  For me (so far) the picture is both simple and scary: there would be little forgiveness and there would be little grace.  I believe that because, over and over again, scripture draws a clear and convincing connection between God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of each other.  Don’t …