||“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, And all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
One of my favorite Disney movies is The Lion King, I can’t tell you how many times I watched it with my kids when they were small. Recently I overheard someone use the term “Hakuna Matata”, it was quoted by Simba’s two friends to help keep him from worrying. “Hakuna matata” is a Swahili phrase; translated, it roughly means “No problems” or “Don’t Worry, be Happy”.
If your experiences are like mine, telling someone who is in distress “don’t worry” is not very productive. “Don’t worry”, should be one of the more comforting phrases found in the Bible, especially because when Jesus tells us not to worry it’s more of a command then a suggestion. In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus tells us “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” The KJV version uses the phrase “Take no thought for your life”.
If we notice, Jesus doesn’t start out by just saying “don’t worry”, that doesn’t come until verse 25, He first addresses some of the issues that cause worry, mainly putting away the premise of promoting ourselves and maintaining a prominent role among our peers and subordinates. He addresses things concerning our charitable deeds, praying in public, fasting and material possessions. None of these things are bad unless we do them with the wrong motive and therefore have received our reward from men.
Jesus begins to teach His disciples early on about the hindrances that come with focusing on themselves. There is a burden that comes with self-promotion that causes us to worry, an added distraction in our lives that prevents us from living in liberty. It’s the idea of traveling light, not carrying the added weight that can hinder our walk and serving others.
This is where the phrase “Hakuna Matata” loses its relevance, you see, we can only live in liberty and without worry by keeping ourselves in the love of God. It’s not this carefree life ignoring our responsibility.
The small but powerful epistle of Jude is a good reminder in the day and age we live in, he says in verse 3 “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”. However he warns us, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life”. When our lives are focused on kingdom building, we can have major concerns and still be free of worry. Jude ends his letter with one of the greatest benedictions in the Bible.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.” Rob Russomano is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and serves full time at America’s Keswick. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org