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.
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.
In Philippians 4:6-7 Apostle Paul states, ” 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 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.
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.
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.