Do you remember in the scriptures when Jesus rebuked the wind and asked the disciples why they were so fearful and worrying about death? Jesus said that it was because they lacked faith?
38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
The sin of worry shows that we don’t put our trust in our creator when we should but rather, we tend to look at our circumstances instead. Unfortunately, we all do this at some point in our lives
If you are reading this, you have probably asked yourself whether worrying is sinful. Perhaps, once, twice…. maybe three times? Or, if you are like me, you’ve asked yourself this question so many times it has become as numerous as Abraham’s descendants.
Nonetheless, it is a valid question and worth asking. Before we look at whether it’s a sin, let’s first have a look at why do we as Christians worry in the first place.
Why do we worry as Christians?
It’s inevitable that every human that has lived, is currently living, and yet to live, has, does, and will experience worry of some sort and at some point, in their lives. Asking why a Christian faces worry is akin to asking why humans feel joy, laughter, grief, and sorrow. Worry merely is part of the fallen human race.
The source of our anxiety is as diverse as the human race. I have worried about loving my wife well. Providing for and protecting my family which God has gifted to me. Sharing my love for God with my daughters in an authentic and straightforward fashion. Paying the mortgage and utilities. Being humble, loving, kind and not getting angry over things that don’t matter. Treating others in a way that pleases God who sees all.
I am sure you have similar concerns too.
Most of you wouldn’t consider the areas of concern I listed above as inherently wrong. But if I obsessed over keeping everything anyone ever gave me. Or, shutting every door three times I passed through. Most of you would acknowledge such behavior as unhealthy.
So, is worrying about good things okay, and bad things not?
Or, maybe the act of worrying is sinful in and of itself.
Is worry a sin?
The answer to this question isn’t complicated. The answer is yes, despite the tendency for it to be lengthy.
And to avoid the temptation of reinventing the wheel and for brevity’s sake, I always believe that the best place to look for answers is in scripture.
If we take a look at Genesis up until the fall of men in chapter 3, there is no mention of Adam having any worry. Everything he needed was provided for him by God. But we see something change in Genesis chapter 3 when sin enters after his disobedience to God’s words. We see how Adam becomes corrupted by sin and fear. We see worry creep into his life.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
When we worry, we are usually thinking of things that we fear. And in this case, Adam’s disobedience did cause him to fear God.
How to stop worrying and put your trust in God
I often tell myself that being a Christian isn’t about being perfect but working towards perfection.
So, when you inevitably find yourself worrying, remember you are a fallen human. But just because you live in the sinful nature of the flesh doesn’t mean you have to be bound by it and submit to worrying.
When we worry, it shows God that we assume our problems are too big for him to handle. If we can ask for small favors from friends or family at times when we need them, why not turn to our creator and ask for help during times of worry.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
God is always available when we are willing to surrender our lives to him and trust that he is bigger than our problems, fears and worries.
The key to overcoming worry is found in scripture
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”
25 “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? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
To conclude, anyone who finds themselves struggling with worry is to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Build up your faith on a strong foundation of scripture and look to Jesus because we serve a merciful God.
1 John 4:18 says
8 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Reflect on what Jesus has done for you, and how much you mean to him by remembering his life, death, and resurrection.
The sin of worry can never outweigh the love of God! So, rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him, he is always ready with open arms to receive us into his loving arms of healing and comfort where worry has no place.