Your anxiety, fear, worry, and uncertainty is not a sin

Your anxiety, fear, worry, and uncertainty is not a sin.

Of course it’s not the preferred state to be in. Anyone who’s anxious or afraid knows this already. But Scripture does not call it a sin.

Yes, Jesus commands us, “Do not worry.” Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing.” But those statements are miles away from saying, “Your anxiety is a demonstration of a lack of faith in God.” Jesus saying, “Do not worry,” is not the same as saying, “If you worry, you are sinning against the Divine.”

Your anxiety, fear, worry, and uncertainty will not separate you from God. Because Scripture shows us that when we’re afraid, God doesn’t reject us. God moves towards us. Every time.

In Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve were afraid and hid . . . God came to find them, clothe them, and provide for them.

In Genesis 21, when Hagar ran away and hid in the dessert . . . God came to find her and speak comfort to her.

In Exodus 3, when Moses had run away from Egypt out of fear into the wilderness . . . God came and found him and appointed him as deliverer.

In 1 Kings 19, when Elijah was afraid for his life . . . God came and revealed his glory to him.

Throughout Job, while Job was asking for death . . . God came and spoke truth to him.

In Matthew 8, when the disciples were afraid of drowning . . . Jesus calmed the seas.

In Matthew 14, when Peter begins to sink in the water . . . Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him.

In Matthew 17, when Peter, James, and John were terrified because of the voice of God . . . Jesus came and touched them and said, “Don’t be afraid.”

Scripture does not demand your positivity in trying times. The book of Psalms is evidence of this. Men and women of God expressed their fear, despair, and worry in the face of calamity because they had faith that their God could handle their true emotions.

Jesus wept. Jesus got frustrated. Jesus was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” and asked God to take away the crucifixion.

Should we find ways to move out of anxiety and fear? Of course. But faking-it-til-you-make-it is not the answer. The power of positive of thinking will only make you emotionally constipated.

So be honest about your fears and your worries and your anxieties. Don’t try to hide them from yourself or from God. Find helpful, meaningful ways to work through those anxieties towards calm.

And in the meanwhile, be confident that God has been and will continue to be with you the entire time.

Anthony Parrott

Anthony Parrott

Washington, DC