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Hakuna Matata

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

In 1994, the Walt Disney Company first (they have since done it a few other times) released their animated movie, "The Lion King." Whether you are a fan or not, you are hard pressed to find someone who has not, in one form or another, not been exposed to the movie. [For what it is worth, it really isn't a bad movie; however, this is not an advertisement or an endorsement.]

In the movie, we are introduced to a catchy little song and a phrase - "hakuna matata." Back when the movie came out (and every time a child - regardless of their age - gets the movie and watches over and over and over) you are bound to have them sing it, say it, hum it and dance to it. The song, itself, tells you it means "no worries for the rest of your days."

Being the curious and need to know person I am, I just needed to verify this. Turns out, Pumba and Timone were not far off. "Hakuna matata" is a Swahili phrase, meaning "no trouble" or "no worries" and "take it easy". (Literally, hakuna means "there is no/there are no" and matata means "worries".) For those who do not know: Swahili, also known by its native name Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and the native language of the Swahili people native primarily to the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa. One can conclude from this tidbit of information that hakuna matata is Swahilli for no worries. Technically, now that you know this, you can say you speak Swahilli.

Why do I tell you all this you ask? First, we should all know a few random facts that have absolutely nothing to do with anything. More importantly, I challenge you to take just a moment to ask yourself a simple, but very important question, "Do I have a hakuna matata attitude when it comes to other people's attacks/opinions/gossip/hatefulness towards me?"

Most of us do not. Whether it is a friend who got mad and goes on a tirade on social media or a boss who unfairly blames you for something you did not do or co-workers who gossip about you as soon as you pass them or even family members who just can't seem to say anything nice, our proverbial feathers can get ruffled in a nano-second and as the saying goes, "it's on like donkey-kong." There are so many examples when people are (as I like to say) being "ugly" and our gut instinct, everything in our person screams to do the exact same thing to them. Worse yet, they hurt us in ways that physically, monetarily or tangibly wound us. They may even cut so deep they leave scars we feel will never heal (especially if we keep picking at them.) Where is the hakuna matata in all that? When we watched the Lion King, we remembered all those things and thus, we shook our heads and sarcastically said to ourselves, "Yeah, I wish it were that easy."

At this point, I would like to share with you a few scriptures: (ESV Translation)

  • Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:31-32

  • No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. ~Isaiah 54:17

  • Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” ~Romans 12:19

  • The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming. ~Psalm 37:12-13

  • The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. ~Exodus 14:14

  • So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” ~Hebrews 13:6

  • Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. ~Galatians 6:7

  • For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. ~Galatians 1:10

  • Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; ~James 1:19

Granted, there are many, many more but I think you get the point. What can we glean from these verses? Plenty. As one who has a genuine relationship with Christ, we need not fear nor worry with things of this world and as such, this includes the opinions and works of man. This is so very hard because deep down, we want to be liked and popular; we want to part of the "in" crowd. It clearly states that if you are trying to please man, you are not trying to please God. What God knows about you far surpasses what petty men say, think or do; so let them say, think or do what they want. They will, in the end, reap what they sow. Not only that, their day, as God says, "is coming." I don't know about you but I would much rather have a few rumors here, my feelings hurt there and know I am right with the Lord then to face a day of reckoning with God. What's more, I can sit and plot my revenge or spew out the greatest comeback of all time but what does it tell me? The Word tells me that it is not my place to take vengeance. What? But I had this great torture device all concocted in my head. Wait, the Word tells me vengeance is the Lord's. I'm pretty sure after studying, God can do a lot better job handling it than I can despite my active imagination (not to mention, His vengeance is eternal; mine is temporary and leads me to...sin.) I will be vindicated by the ONLY judge whose verdict truly matters; it is clearly written. Not only that, the Word spells out, more than once that no word, none, formed against me will prosper. (Granted, that doesn't mean they won't form, they won't circulate, they won't hurt or won't do damage... it merely means they will not prosper.) If I know in the end, I am going to be victorious, can't I endure? God tells us He will fight for us! Right there - we don't even have to fight! Wow!

There is; however, a catch. If we are to take all of that amazing news and wonderful promises to heart, we also have to obey the ones that tell us what to do. Did you catch those? Be silent. Be slow to anger, quick to hear, slow to speak, put away malice, slander, hate and bitterness; be kind, forgive and tender. Really? They are spewing profanities and I can't say anything? They are making things up and I can't defend myself? Yelling at me and I need to be calm? Such hypocrites they are!

Solomon tells us there is a time for everything. There is a time to speak up and these verses clearly tell us there is a proper manner in which to do so. It took me a very, very, very, very, very long time to learn this lesson. In studying and my walk with Christ, I asked (and you know what they say - be careful what you ask for) to grow in this area. I wanted the Holy Spirit to help me. I was led to a very important moment in the life of Jesus. As I read, I could vividly see Him. I understood the message I was supposed to get.

I had a moment awhile back when I had the opportunity to apply this lesson in life. I was facing a less than positive situation. I sat there. As I did, I felt this hand on my shoulder. I looked and no one was there. As I turned back around, the image from my study flashed through my head. It was the image of Jesus standing on the platform, in front of the crowd, as Pilate asked them who they wanted released. I could see His chains, His battered self. He never said a word. He stood there as they spit and chanted and chose a murderer and a thief over Him. He looked right at me. Again, I felt the hand on my shoulder. I then knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, no matter what was said to me, about me, etc. in this moment, I just needed to sit there. I did not need to say a word. I did not need to defend myself, offer any excuses or reasons or anything. I knew who's hand was on my shoulder. I knew what I needed to know.

Since that day, no matter what I face, no matter what I hear, when I stand before people who are not so nice, I take a moment and pray for the Holy Spirit to stand with me and I think back to that image of Jesus. If ever in the history of man anyone deserved to speak up, it was Him. What did He do? He stood in silence. His silence spoke and still speaks louder than any words or actions ever could.

I guess in closing, the point I am trying to make to you is as you grow in your walk with Christ, you will come to know Him and know you only need to be still and know He is. Sure, it doesn't always make things easy but it always makes it worth it. Even in the hard times, He is still there. His promises are real. He knows your heart and the truth.

Pumba and Timone may have been on to something after all. Why do we not, as Christians, have this attitude? No worries. Why worry? When you have Jesus there are no worries- that really matter- for the rest of your days. Hakuna matata may be just the song to hum after all and if you are like me and can't carry a tune in a bucket, you can just whisper it.

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