Is Worrying a Sin?

don't-worry

Jesus said “do not be worried about your life”. Apostle Paul said “do not be anxious”. Both of these are commands given and thus to not follow them would seemingly be an act of disobedience. So it’s a sin right?

Thought I’d give you guys a throwback feel to my blog today. This is the type of post that a lot of my earlier subscribers came to really enjoy from me. It was fun to write up too. Let’s look at both verses where these statements are made.

Matthew 6:25-33

Jesus states in Matthew 6:25-33, ““For this reason I say to you, [n]do not be worried about your [o]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [p]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single [q]hour to his [r]life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But [s]seek first [t]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [u]added to you.

Let’s get some context on this. Prior to this passage, Jesus speaks of not serving two masters at the same time, God and wealth. And as you see in this passage, the things being mentioned not to be worried about are essential needs which wealth provides us with. Jesus closes by stating these things will be added to us if we seek God first above seeking these needs. So is it maybe the larger emphasis of this passage is to put our focus on God over wealth? Perhaps, though the command “do not worry” is still an explicit statement that’s staring us right in the face. For now, let’s look at the other passage.

Philippians 4:6-7

In Philippians 4:6-7 Apostle Paul states, ” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all [d]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prior to these verses Apostle Paul talks about rejoicing in the Lord always, letting one’s gentle spirit be known to men, and that the Lord is near. And after the two verses in question Apostle Paul talks about virtuous things that one’s thoughts should dwell on. Perhaps what we’re to take from this is that as opposed to having thoughts and feelings of anxiousness, one should instead focus on rejoicing and putting their thoughts on the virtuous things Paul noted in order to maintain peace. And that the response to any anxiousness is making requests to God with thanksgiving.

But again we have a command given to be followed in the passage, “do not be anxious”, and not only that, we have a command to be followed in doing the opposite of being anxious, rejoicing always and dwelling on virtuous thoughts. It almost seems like a double disobedience to do the former and also to neglect to do the latter.

Hesitant leaning

Personally, part of me hesitantly slightly leans towards the answer being yes, to worry and to be anxious would seem to be an act of disobedience to those commands given, and thus a sin. But I hesitate in my leaning because worry seems very much apart of the human condition. It’s especially a part of it with those who have mental illnesses caused by chemical imbalances not of their own doing. So it would be a sin impossible not to commit sometimes if it is in fact one. But maybe the larger key in these passages are that we just strive to not worry or be anxious. That we seek God as our sole master believing He can lead or allow us to get to the things we need. And also in that thinking, we should be able to more often focus on the better things we’re instructed to focus on in Philippians 4.

Final thought

I’ll leave you with this final thought. Remember when Jesus was praying to God that the cup would pass Him before he eventually got crucified. Luke 22:44 states, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Perhaps not exactly a picture of calm and peace. If Jesus could feel such agony and also still be a man who lived without sin, perhaps that should conclude us on the side of there being more to this than just a simple command.

Peace to all those who are in Christ.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Is Worrying a Sin?

  1. Really awesome post! I agree with your thought process and how you used the example of Jesus at the end. I think God definitely wants us to try our best to rest in Him. I also think He places more importance on checking the source of our worrying, if that makes sense. For example, worrying about being successful or wealthy sometimes can suggest that we are idolizing money. Or worrying about popularity or image can be a symptom of idolizing oneself. But of course, if one is worried about an illness or loved one, that is not really a fault or sin of the person. So I would agree that we need to be aware of our intentions and try our best to focus on God, but I don’t think He views us with anger and disdain when we do worry.

    • You make a good point there. It’s not worrying in itself, it’s where our focus is on. In Gethsemane, all Jesus was “worried” about was to fulfill God’s plan in saving us. This is evident when He prayed asking if there were any other way, but “not my will, but Thy will”.

      • Hi Rocky. Thanks for your comment. Yes, focus appears to be the key. Are we focused on God, or are we finding ourselves focused on whatever things we’re concerned will happen to us.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    • Hi Sarah. Thanks for your comment. It’s interesting you bring up that thought of God’s reaction to our worry. I think about the example when Peter was beginning to sink in the water and Jesus pointed out his lack of faith and asked why he doubted. Though it’s important to note He did stretch out his hand and grab him before he did that, which perhaps suggests compassion for our lack of faith sometimes. All fascinating stuff.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  2. I like the post. God wants us to put our complete faith in Him no matter what. Jesus did ask the Father to pass the cup from Him as the bearer for the world’s sins, but I respectfully disagree with you about saying perhaps not exactly a picture of calm and peace because it was. Don’t forget what Christ said at the end of the prayer. Matthew 26:39: “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” So whatever concerns Jesus had about bearing our sins, He stayed obedient to the will of our Heavenly Father. This is the perfect example for us to follow. Whatever concerns or worries we have, we seek Christ and be obedient to His will and in doing so we will have peace. Have a blessed day.

    • Hi cordell79. Thank you for your comment. You acknowledge that Jesus felt concern, which in the statement I used “not exactly a picture of calm and peace” is what I was attempting to express. The only reason I used the phrase “not exactly a picture of calm and peace” was because of the strong language in the verse him being in agony and the graphic visual given of him sweating blood. Although it’s possible he simultaneously felt complete peace and calm in spite of his concerns he seemed to be feeling as well. But yes, ultimately he still chose to be obedient, which indeed is the example we should follow. Still choosing to be obedient in spite of our concerns.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  3. I agree with your stance as well. I also thought about those who have a mental illness. It’s essential that we focus on God and the good in our lives, as well as the good we can extend to other people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s