Did you know it’s a sin? Worry I mean…it’s a sin. I think we all kind of know, but do we really believe that? My son and I were talking about worry yesterday. He was upset and worried about his dad, who professes that He doesn’t believe in God. My son worries that his dad will never get saved. He worries that his grandfather, who recently died, was not saved. Unfortunately, all of that is possible, and even highly likely. However, I began to remind my son that all he can do is live his life the way God wants him to and pray for his dad. There is no better way to see God move than to do those two things. Then I reminded my son that God tells us not to worry and that, in fact, worry was not part of the world until Adam and Eve sinned. I told him that worry was a sin and meant that we did not put our trust in God. That we need to give God our worries and just pray.
Talk about conviction in my life! I worry all the time! I don’t think there is a day that goes by that I don’t worry about something. I worry about the small, trivial things: what are we going to do about dinner tonight; will I lose readers because I haven’t really posted blogs in several weeks. I worry about the bigger things: bills are due, will there be enough; this class is extremely difficult, will I pass. I worry about the huge things: will my son have troubles all his life because of what happened between me and his dad; will I meet a man who will love me and my son the way we deserve because he loves God more. I worry about all these things and so much more on a daily basis. Which, in real, honest, raw, reality means that I am living in sin…daily.
OUCH! Why did you have to hit me upside the head with a 2×4 God? Well, I guess gentle nudges weren’t doing it anymore were they?
John MacArthur stated in his book Anxiety Attacked,
Jesus categorically prohibited worry in a familiar portion of the Sermon on the Mount—Matthew 6:25-34. Three times in that short passage He commanded, “Do not worry!”, and the way He said it shows the comprehensiveness of His charge. In verse 25 He acknowledges worry as a common practice and says, “Stop worrying;” in verses 31 and 34 He uses the same word, but in a way that means “Don’t even start worrying.” To continue worrying about anything, or to start worrying in the first place, is to violate the Lord’s command.
He goes on to state several things that a worrier does:
- The Worrier Strikes Out at God
When we worry, we are basically telling God that we don’t think He is trust worthy; that we don’t trust Him. As humans, trust doesn’t come easy, especially for those of us who have been hurt many times before. So, it’s not hard to see why we have a hard time trusting God. The problem is…it’s a sin. We are saying that the God who created everything, intricate and beautiful, in this world; the God who made us; the God who chose to send His one and only Son to die for us; isn’t trustworthy.
- The Worrier Disbelieves Scripture
True Christians believe and know that the Scripture is true from beginning to end. None of it is false. Yet, if we worry, we are saying that the Scriptures aren’t completely true. We are proving that we don’t completely believe it. (OUCH! OK GOD! I’m getting it!!)
- The Worrier is Mastered by Circumstances
When we worry, we are in chains. We are not free, by any means. We are enslaved to our worry and it’s a never-ending cycle. We cannot be free until we release our worry to God. We want desperately to be free and “worry” that we never will be; and we won’t…if we don’t turn it over to God.
- The Worrier Distrusts God
I ask my son all the time, “Do you trust me?” I tell him, “Please just trust me, I’ve got it all under control”. But, he’s a worrier, and he doesn’t trust me; not because he doesn’t love me or because he thinks I will ruin everything, but because he has a hard time letting go of worry. It’s the same way between us and God. We are telling God we don’t trust Him…and in reality we find it very hard to trust Him. Oh yes, we trust that He loves us, we trust that He created us, we can even trust that he is truly right next to us always, but do we really trust Him to make the everyday, mundane, as well as the huge decisions for us? I know I don’t always. I lean on God when it’s big, but I have hard time letting go and leaning on Him when it’s little.
- Worry is Unwise Because of Our Future
Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34).
Aside from this, worry also has physical properties:
- Worry paralyzes us – we can’t think about or do anything else but worry; we are less productive
- Worry can cause ulcers, indigestion, back problems from tension, panic attacks, heart palpitations, etc.
God tells us in Lamentations that “His mercies are new every morning”. God gives us the strength each day that we need to get through that day. He gives us extra strength to get through problems that arise. He’s there, He’s in control, He loves us enough to want to pick us up and carry us during the times we need it the most.
In going through this post, I have to say that I am amazed and ashamed at myself for my worrying. Does this mean that I will change overnight; stop worrying right this very instant? No. Realistically, I will struggle with worry for the rest of my life. But, it does mean that now that I am more aware of it, I am now responsible for it and therefore have to work for change.
Lord, help me!