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Is there a sin nice, middle-class Christians commit more than the sin of worry?

You wake up ten minutes later than you had hoped and anxiety already starts to creep in: what if I’m late? What about traffic? What’s the weather like? You pass by the mirror and worry that your face has more wrinkles than it used to. You rush downstairs and because you are in a hurry you let the kids eat whatever they want, so then you start to worry if sugar really does cause cancer. As you get the kids ready you realize one of your boys didn’t do his homework-again. You worry if he’s ever going to get his head screwed on straight, and as you drop the kids off you worry that they may fall in with the wrong crowd or fall off the monkey bars.

Once you get home you pull up Facebook just to unwind. There you read about how awesome everyone else’s kids are and all the amazing cupcakes your friends make and you worry that you might be a failure as a mom. Later in the morning you feel that pain in your knee again. You worry about having to get knee replacement surgery and whether your insurance will cover that and how you’ll pay for it and who will take care of the kids if you are laid up for a month. Then you worry that maybe the pain is something worse, so you check all the medical web sites and realize you probably have a rare case of whooping cough that’s spread to your appendages.

Hours later when the kids are in bed you turn on the television to forget about the day. As you flip through the channels and get caught up on the news you start to worry about the economy and the polar vortex and the rise in crime in your city. You worry about the racial divisions in this country and how you’ll talk to your friend who see things a little differently and maybe you worry whether the police would treat you fairly or you worry about the safety of your brother who is a police officer. So you turn off the TV and talk to your husband and worry about his cough that doesn’t seem to get better and worry the layoffs they’re having at work. And finally as you lay down for the night you feel a tremendous sense of anxiety and you don’t even know why. For reasons you can’t even understand, you start worrying about life and kids and your parents and your church and your health and flying and driving and sleeping and eating and a general fear that the days ahead could be really bad.

Can you relate?

Jesus can help.

Worry may be the most common sin among your “regular” folks in the church. Now, you may think that’s not very encouraging. “Great, I worry about everything. And now on top of my worrying I am going to feel bad about worrying and I am going to worry about that.” But be encouraged: If worry is just a part of your personality or part of being a mom (or a student or a businessman or whatever), God may not do anything to help you. But if worry is a sin, then God can forgive you for it and help you overcome it.

Matthew 6:25-34 is one of the Bible’s great passages on worry. Three times Jesus says “do not be anxious” (25, 31, 34). But he doesn’t stop there. Jesus is interested in more than handing down commands. He wants to get at our hearts. And so he gives seven reasons why we should not be anxious.

Reason #1: Life is too important (Matt. 6:25). We need to get our priorities straight. Does it really matter that you have the good things in life; fancy food, fancy drinks, fancy clothes. Are you living your whole life for a little tag on the back of your pants or the inside of your shirt that makes you feel cool? Are you going to look back on your life and wish you had been more fastidious about your clothing choices? Isn’t life about more than just a clump of cells trying to get sustenance, trying to feel good, trying to look good.

We live in an age where people freak out about food. While most people in the history of the world have worried about whether they will get anything to eat, we worry about the kind of life the chicken lived before we ate it. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be concerned with how animals are treated. But let’s remember that life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.

Reason #2: You are too important (Matt. 6:26). We not only insult God when we worry about food and clothes and money, we insult ourselves. Worry says to the world, “I’m not valuable.” Anxiety is an affront to the kindness of God and the worth of men and women made in his image. Let the birds and squirrels be your preachers. God’s feeding them. When you see them peering at you through the window, they’re saying, “What are you looking at? Trust God.” When you hear the birds sing, they are singing a song to remind you of God’s provision. God takes care of little animals; he’ll take care of you.

Reason #3: It doesn’t do any good (Matt. 6:27). Have you ever looked back on the hard times in life and thought, “I don’t know how I would have made it through that if I hadn’t worried?” Nobody reflects on the past and concludes, “Money sure was tight, but worry really pulled me through.” “Junior High was difficult. I only wish I could have worried more.” “The diagnosis was frightening, but then I got all my friends to worry with me.”

If we all took a few seconds right now and worried about making car payments, paying off the mortgage, being without insurance, we’re wouldn’t live one second longer. I haven’t checked this with the doctors I know, but I don’t think they ever stand at the bedside and say, “Well, ma’am, it doesn’t look good. all we can do at this point is worry.”

Man knows not his time. It is not for us to direct our steps (Jer. 10:23). All our days have been written in God’s book before any of them come to pass (Psalm 139:16). You and I need to admit we are powerless over some things. I am powerless to do all sorts of things. I can’t make someone believe the gospel. I can’t raise the dead. I can’t sit at the crib all night making sure the baby is breathing. And I certainly can’t live one more nanosecond than I am supposed to live.  No one has ever lived an hour longer because they worried about when they were going to die.

Reason #4: God cares about you (Matt. 6:28-30). God makes the wild flowers grow. Why? Because he wants to. Because they’re pretty. Because he’s creative. Because he likes beauty. Because he wants people to enjoy them. Because he cares about flowers. And he even cares about grass. The grass is going to die. Your lawn will be brown. It will be cold, frozen, dead–probably is already. But in a few months, it will all come back. And you won’t have anything to do with it. Maybe you’ll plant some more seed. Maybe you’ll get a lawn care specialist out to help make things super great. But even if you do nothing, the grass will come back. Because God is God and he likes green grass.

Do you see what Jesus calls worriers? He calls us “little faiths.” Our worry is an insult to God’s character. When we worry we are not believing the truth about God. We are doubting that he sees, that he knows, that he cares, that he is more than able. Faith is more than a vague notion that Jesus existed and we are going to heaven if we ask him into our hearts. Faith is a practical way of looking at the world. Biblical faith extends to all of life, not merely to the salvation of our souls. When we worry, we are telling God, “I don’t trust you to run my life. I don’t think you’re really in control. I had better worry about these things. I need to do everything to take care of myself, because I’m not sure you will.” But think about it: God takes care of wild animals. He takes care of wild flowers. He even takes care of grass. Why wouldn’t he take care of you?

Reason #5: Pagans worry (Matt. 6:30-32a).  Some of us worry so much, we might as well be atheists. We are living like God doesn’t really exist. That’s what pagans do.

A pagan doesn’t have to be somebody who worships idols and sacrifices frogs. A pagan is somebody who thinks life is about what you will eat, what you will drink, what you will wear. Pagans think that life consists in the abundance of one’s possessions. Pagans spend their money and hoard their money like there was no God in the universe watching over them or watching out for them.

Let me pause right here because some of you are asking the question the rest of us are afraid to speak: “But what if God doesn’t take care of me?” What about Christians starving to death? What about Christian’s being driven from their homes? What about the thousands of good Christians who will die this year from cancer or car accidents or cardiac arrest? Doesn’t God promise to take care of them too?

Those are fair questions–and questions that wouldn’t surprise Jesus or any of the writers of the Bible. Revelation speaks of a set number of martyrs. Paul told the Romans that even in hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword, and slaughter they would be more than conquerors. Jesus told his disciples, “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life” (Luke 21:16-19). Jesus never told his disciples that being a Christian was a get out of suffering free card.

So can we count on God or not?

First, we need to remember the context. Jesus is talking about people serving mammon instead of God (Matt. 6:24). In Luke’s account in Luke 12, Jesus is talking about rich fools building bigger barns and worry-worts storing up treasures on earth. His point here is that we won’t die on account of over-generosity. That’s the first to note.

But that’s only part of the answer. I think the rest of the answer is found in verse 32: “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” What is “them?” Verses 30 and 31 suggest the “them” is food and drink. And what do we need these things for? For life. God knows what we need to keep on living. . . . so long as he wants us to live. God knows that we need clothes, food, and drink to live and he will give us all the clothes, food, and drink to live until he wants us to die.

This is based on a profound theological truth: God is not stupid. God sees us. He knows we are here. He hasn’t gone out for lunch. He isn’t taking a nap. He’s not like a parent who loses a child in some other part of the grocery store. He is for you, not against you. Jesus doesn’t promise all your wildest dreams will come true, but he does promise that God will give you what you need to glorify him and to live out all the days he has written in his book.

That may sound sort of dumb, but it is really profound. There is more to life, Jesus is saying, than living. We are going to die. So don’t make it your goal in life to simply stay alive; you’ll fail at that. We are here to do more than avoid death. “God will give you all the food and drink and clothes you need to live,” Jesus says. “And when I want you to stop living, you’ll stop living. I’m in control. You were put here for a reason bigger than to just live.” Be consumed, v. 31 says, with the kingdom. Be consumed with seeing God’s reign and rule over your life, and family, and church, and the lost peoples of the world. You’re not a pagan after all.

Reason #6: The kingdom matters more (Matt. 6:33). Jesus wants to set the worry wort free. When we have nice cars, boats, tractors, and houses, we worry about them. What if an accident happens, or lightning strikes, or a thief breaks in? Jesus says “How about a better treasure? Why not lose yourself for the things that last?” As Randy Alcorn puts it, “You can’t take the money with you, but you can send it ahead.”

Don’t get rid of all pursuits: replace your pagan pursuit with a pious pursuits. Be consumed with the kingdom. Be consumed with seeing God’s reign and rule over your life, your family, and your church. Spend yourself for the lost people’s of the world. Make it your priority to introduce more people to the King, get more people in the kingdom, train people to live under the authority of this King and his kingdom.

Jesus may not make your life easy. But he will make your life joyful. He wants to set us free from pursuing all the dead ends we’ve been driving down. If you live for money, you have reason to be anxious. If the most important thing in your life is your career, that can go bad. If your health or your looks or your kids are your real passions, you may be colossally disappointed. You have reason to fret. But if you seek first the kingdom, you can’t lose.

Reason #7: Tomorrow will be anxious for itself (34). Today’s grace is for today’s trials. And when tomorrow’s trials come, God will have new grace waiting for you there.

Anxiety is living out the future before it gets here. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him” (Lam. 3:22-24).

What will happen tomorrow?

I can give you a thousand things we don’t know–medical reports, accidents, jobs, tests, dates, babies, criticisms, hard conversations, even death. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. But here is one thing you and I can count on: there will be new mercies from the Lord when we get there.

How can I stop worrying? Look to Jesus. But also look at Jesus. He sees. He knows. He cares. He is a sympathetic high priest. And he will never leave you nor forsake you.


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Comments:


43 thoughts on “7 Reasons Not to Worry”

  1. a. says:

    Amen… the birds of the heavens… let them tell you Job 12:7

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA80pzxtwKo
    the very hairs of your head are all numbered, so do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

  2. Curt Day says:

    I think that this subject of worrying needs more nuance than what exists in what is written above. For worrying has multiple sources from personality type to loving the things of the world to loving people who are at risk and beyond. I don’t think this article adequately addresses enough of the different circumstances that cause us to worry. In addition, though I can’t think of it off the top of my head, I am pretty sure Paul described at least one or two times where he worried about fellow believers.

  3. Andrew says:

    Well I for one needed some of that after disappointment with self in 2014. God bless you brother. Write and preach on!

  4. AndyB says:

    Sometimes it’s hard for me to know where strategic planning stops and worry begins.

  5. Josh Kezer says:

    Worry is NOT a sin. It is NOT an insult to God. It’s indicative of being broken, human, affectionate and not a sociopath.

    Some have objected to my view of this article. Rather than respond to each objection, I’ll post this short Christian Broadcasting Network video interview and ask you to watch and listen to the entirety of it. It’s my story. Listen to what I have to share.

    http://www.cbn.com/tv/1477027132001

    Worry is NOT a sin. Pride is. Arrogance is. Worry is NOT. To suggest it is suggests people attending pastoral counseling and psychiatry are sinning. It suggests the writers of the Psalms sinned. It even suggests Jesus sinned in the Garden. Worry isn’t a sin. Worry acknowledges pain, the battle before us, often our weakness and need.

    Worry isn’t an exercise of pride or self importance. It’s an exercise of weakness. Pride denies weakness. Worry embraces it.

    Worry isn’t a sin. Satan twists it. Humanity twists it. Arrogant people condemn it. Jesus, unintimidated by it, conquered it in the Garden, crucified it on the Cross, redeems it. Jesus comforts those suffering through it.

  6. Derek Simmons says:

    “If worry is just a part of your personality or part of being a mom (or a student or a businessman or whatever),
    God may not do anything to help you.”

    HUH?

  7. Josh Kezer says:

    “But be encouraged: If worry is just a part of your personality or part of being a mom (or a student or a businessman or whatever), God may not do anything to help you. But if worry is a sin, then God can forgive you for it and help you overcome it.” Have you lost your mind? Where in scripture does it suggest God only delivers us from sins? God only helps us through sins? God only ushers in victory over sins? It doesn’t. This is the most asinine and apathetic article I’ve ever read on the subject of worry. TGC needs to retract this and apologize to their readers struggling with depression or worry or anxiety.

  8. Crockofsh ite says:

    I don’t think you understand the difference between a pagan and an atheist. Where is the evidence atheists worry more? Or pagans for that matter? I tend to worry less than when I believed in a higher power because I’m not worried that any of my ethical or general life decisions affect my relationship with a higher being and affect my chances in an afterlife. This is such an insulting article.

    P.S. in terms of “hoarding” money, i suggest you read Weber’s “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” which shows that, actually, it is the fault of religion to some extent due to the “hoarding” of money that has created this capitalist ethic ;)

  9. ManW says:

    Sounds like maybe we need some clarification on what constitutes “worry”, particularly as addressed in Jesus’ sermon in Matthew 6.

    My understanding is that despairing (as though one has no hope because of lack of faith in God or some other mistrust/misunderstanding in God or misplaced self-importance) is sin, but the basic feeling of concern w/ the unknown or w/ suffering is not.

    Otherwise, how can one account for examples like Jesus in Gethsemane? Or His cry on the cross?

    It may be that “worry” as used in translating Matt 6 might be inadequate language… at least in modern/day-to-day English anyhow.

    Something akin to despair might be more accurate, no?

    As for what we typically go thru in day-to-day life, is it just a normal feeling response to things that are beyond our control or actual despair due to lack of faith or misplaced self-importance or similar? Maybe some of them could be the latter, but all of them?

  10. sara wallace says:

    Thank you, Kevin. You put into words so many things that have been bouncing around in my own heart. I write “The Gospel-Centered Mom” blog and I am posting the link to your article on my facebook page. I know it will resound with every mom striving to live in the joy of God’s grace.

  11. Beth says:

    I worry that my children will not go to Heaven since they have both rejected God. However, that worry drives me to pray for them, and to have hope.

  12. Robin says:

    Pastor Deyoung, would you please clarify what constitutes “worrying” in your opinion? How do I differentiate between worry and planning ahead? Most of my planning is due to the fact that I hope to avoid something in the future from happening (failing exams, falling sick, getting into debt etc.) Where is the line drawn?

    Thank you.

  13. Heather says:

    Very surprised to read the cruel comments so far. I do not think Mr. deYoung is at all minimizing the reality of (and need for good biblical counsel for those with) depression. But worry, especially the common daily anxieties he speaks of IS a sin because it is a distrust in God. I struggle with the sin of worry more so than the average person (in my opinion) but for years chalked it up to my “type A” personality, and therefore continually gave myself permission to worry. And the result was an exponential increase in anxiety and a deepening feeling of despair that rarely lifted. When I saw it for what it was- a complete lack of trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God- then I was for the first time able to see that there IS a remedy and life doesn’t have to be lived in constant fear and worry. Anxiety is powerless to change anything, but prayer is powerful. I learned to use my worry as a “trigger” of sorts to pray for whatever it is that is causing anxiety at the moment. How we can we live with praise for Jesus in our hearts and on our lips if worry and anxiety is our badge of distrust that we wear for all to see?

  14. Joanne Schollaert says:

    Thank you Crockofsh. Insulting article. I’m an Atheist and I don’t have these worries.

  15. Charles says:

    Hey Kevin, I am currently reading “Preaching and Preachers” per your recommendation. I’ve started a blog entitled, “Confession and Conviction” in which I will discuss my sin in regards to biblical conviction. Anyways, thought I’d leave it with you if you are ever free. Grace and peace.
    https://humbleconviction.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/confession-1/

  16. anaquaduck says:

    I related strongly to this post. Often there can be a fine line between worry & genuine concern. In the end it comes down to an encouragement to trust God in all circumstances. For many panic or “what if’s” take the place of trust, myself included at times, but as the post says…God forgives.

    The pagan myth of possesions brings happiness is alive & well in the 21st Century & sales picthes are out there throwing their curve balls, thankfully Jesus has knocked them out of the park.

    Personally I believe it takes a while for the Scriptures to permeate our understanding. So I sympathise with those who may have taken it the wrong way. Proverbs is full of wise & sound reasoning regarding finance & cost of living stuff yet this is not enough, we need to hear the words of Jesus in the NT also as we interact with the world & society, not to mention our sinful nature that is quick to forget God & how great He is at times.

  17. anaquaduck says:

    Christianity teaches against the hoarding of money (which is different to saving for a rainy day), Atheism has no such objection, it just denies the supernatural & tends follow evolutionary trends which appears to have no moral basis & is pretty rich in wild assumptions that throws away a lot of precious data so as to fit a preferred model.

    Consumerism is different to Capitalism.

  18. Megan says:

    Dear Pastor,
    I am so sorry to hear that you think my anxiety is a symbol of my ingratitude towards my saviour- although I rather think that the fact that I searched for Christian articles on anxiety and worry would show that I’m trying to find godly ways to overcome my afflictions and worries- unfortunately the first article I found was this, which instead made things worse.
    You’ve referenced the end of Matthew 6 very frequently, and while I agree that this is a very relevant passage for the issue of worry, I view it as an uplifting encouragement that God knows and cares about our troubles, rather than a criticism of our human nature.
    I wonder, would you tell someone with a broken leg that by not walking they are being unappreciative of Gods gifts? Just because a wound isn’t physical or visible doesn’t make it the rightful subject of your vulgar judgements. Maybe instead of telling those who have valid mental problems and disorders that they have nothing to worry about (except for their ungrateful attitude, of course) you should work on driving out your clear ignorance on the matter of mental illness. Those with spiritual maturity and faith can still fall ill mentally and physically, and this pain is both valid and important; Romans 5:4 says that suffering produces ‘patience’, ‘experience’ and ‘hope’, and I think that this patience, experience and hope will help me grow in godliness despite what issues I may have with anxiety (although unfortunately I don’t think I’ll ever be able be patient with those who have no idea what they’re talking about and then post it online for vulnerable suffering people to see.)

    Yours,
    A 17 year old with a better grasp on human emotion than you

  19. Alfred E. Neuman says:

    What ? Me Worry ?

  20. John Thomson says:

    Worry, anxiety that arises through a lack of trust in God is a sin. I would add though that the bible doesn’t speak of it as sin perhaps because to do so would simply increase the anxiety. The pastorally wise way to combat worry is to give ways of dealing with it as Jesus does.

    The issue is further complicated by a) legitimate concern, which is not the same as anxious worry. b) unavoidable natural bodily reactions to danger… Jesus in gentleman’s. c) anxiety symptoms as a result of clinical depression and not necessarily because of worry.

  21. Adam says:

    Worrying is a sin now? The manufacturing of guilt is strong here…

  22. anaquaduck says:

    Adam would you rather be bogged down in worry or freed from its grip when it takes hold of you? Do you think the Scriptures encourage us to be caught up in worry or is there an indication that we should trust God who declares His trustworthyness & is willing to lighten our burdens? The challenge comes from the words of Jesus & are for our benifit that we should no longer be governed by guilt or worry.

  23. Herbie Staples says:

    Hi Gareth. This article covers an important subject that Scripture teaches us about. But, the article does it badly. He generalizes and exaggerates human reaction and does not differentiate between levels of anxiety and the causation thereof . There is a type if anxiety which is unhealthy and displays a lack of trust of God. But, by no means all! God has wired the human being with an anxiety response. This often spurs us on to action. Such anxiety is appropriate and leads to good responses. E.g. I face an important examination tomorrow. I have studied hard but have not yet covered all the work. Of course I will be anxious. That emotion will press me to finish the task before going to bed.

    We need to guard against fundamentalistic approaches to truth. Most subjects are far more complex than can be explained by a single text of Scripture.

  24. Dave says:

    Is there a difference between worry and concern?

    How is one serious about an issue without being Pollyannaish?

  25. R. Roberts says:

    ◦“It takes pride to be anxious – I am not wise enough to know how my life should go.” – Tim Keller. While I think there is a difference between concern and worry, U think the author conveys well, that worry in the article is tied to anxiety. Can we trust God’s faithfulness, do we really believe who He says He is in the scriptures and that when He glorifies Himself, it is good and for our good. It is indeed all about the heart being changed, not the life’s circumstances that is the focus here. I think DeYoung nailed it in the article. Well done! I found it to be encouraging. Trials take me to my God in prayer and to His word and to recall His many times of faithful deliverence by His grace. If my life was “easy”, and my pursuits left to vain things, I would never be pointed to Christ. By God’s grace, He has interfered, changed my heart, and ordained everything I must work through this side of eternity. I don’t want to worry or be discontent and believe otherwise, that God “got it wrong.”

  26. Lewis says:

    “Jesus is talking about rich fools building bigger barns”

    The point of the parable is that the rich fool thought his stored possessions would ensure him more years. The foolishness being “ensure” and not the storing of the wealth. It was a misplaced trust. Remember Joseph being told to store the abundance of seven years? There’s an opportunity to share with others when you’ve been blessed and have an abundance.

  27. JB says:

    Saying that worry is a sin from a parable encouraging us not to worry is a big and tragic error. This is why we have so much mental illness in the church. If people cannot go to their pastors with a valid worry, because they know they will be compared to an atheist and told they are sinning, they will continue to suffer in silence. I agree that this article should be removed. (Also, look up the story of when Jesus was 12 and was lost and found in the temple. That passage says his parents were filled with anxiety. I’m sure if even Jesus’ own parents faced this issue, we are normal if we do too).

  28. Pastor Adam says:

    There are some good points in this article but I also find it lacking in helpful guidance – especially for people who regularly struggle with anxiety. I don’t think the article should be removed, but it does need some help in the practical application area. Worry is a sin, regardless of what some of the commenters have said. Scripture commands us several times not to worry, so worry is a sin. The real question is: How do we stop worrying?

    Here’s a little biblical tool you can use to stop worry in it’s tracks and experience the peace of God that surpasses human understanding: http://radicaltruth.org/p4card

  29. Very true Dan….it is the human condition to worry…..its not sin in my view. Nor can I find that sin in the bible. Jesus tells us to hand over our cares to Him as his yoke is lighter. I am a clinical counsellor and chaplain in life,.. many people come to me anxious and worried often for good reason. Worry effects our health and judgement and usually is an outcome of something else ie the cause. Deal with the cause and it can be alleviated. ..Materialism can generate worry because I want more rather than need more. However most people who worry have good cause for it. Anxiety issues are a mental health struggle and are not sin, so people don’t be fooled into believing any statement that hints at this. However God offers a very wide and rich tapestry of intervention into the human condition . Ask for help. He can lead to you to a solution or at least to a better place you are now in.

  30. John Thomson says:

    Worry arises from a lack of faith (not grasping that our Heavenly Father will meet our needs). It is a symptom of fallenness. It is sin but it needs dealt with by helping the worrier to learn how to trust more.

  31. John if it is sin then it was nailed to the cross and Christ bore it for us ie the punishment intended for us. Sin in this life bears consequences for us and others as you know. Perhaps you should hear the stories of some of the people I help in clinical counselling sessions. You may well change your thinking. Its the cause of worry that is the real issue. Sometimes the cause is sin. Worry is the sign post to for us to make changes in lives…..it may mean stop sinning eg having an affair and being caught by the wife. Or a person contemplating suicide who is about to loose their job (because a down turn), house and livelihood. Im sure they would love for me to them its sin. You deal with the cause of it.. not the effect ie worry. Hope these thoughts are helpful.

  32. Dan no idea whats happening to how my blogs are popping up. I’m definitely not trying to spam you. Glad you liked the sight thanks for that.

  33. John Thomson says:

    Grahame,

    I have suffered from depression for over thirty years and counselled others with such symptoms. I know what anxiety symptoms are like. I understand the problem of blanket labelling of anxiety as sin and don’t think all anxiety symptoms are from conscious unbelief.
    Too limited here too explore this properly. I was thinking particularly of the form of worry that insists on going over an issue again and again.
    I agree the way to deal with it is not to focus on it as sin but to apply the means of overcoming it. At the same time I am opposed to refusals to see it as sin.

  34. John thanks for that it is a complex issue. However anxiety….worry…stress…depression are all bound together in my view. Christ in the garden of Gethsemane suffered intense emotions we would also go through facing the prospect of crucifixion…great anguish he even sweat blood. Christ also grieved and wept at Lazarus grave.. all these are human emotions. Yet he did all that with out sin. So the human condition in this fallen world opens the door to mental health issues which we all will face in our life time. Most people I deal with are suffering from dysfunctional or unhelpful thinking ie unhealthy self talk creating negative emotions and poor decision making which causes worry and anxiety.. Often their self esteem is anchored in self and not Christ so it is easily damaged making things worse ie statements like I am a failure …worthless often reinforced by others who should no better. So the solution is to go to the course…..the battle for their mind. The bible tells us to renew our minds daily for good reasons. If we fill it with unhelpful stuff we get unhelpful/unGodly stuff coming out in thinking, emotions, decisions and actions. Keeps me employed but much of it could be avoided in peoples lives by Godly parenting and Christian modelling using grace and love. Sin is just part of the conundrum. There is much research in combating depression these days and it doesn’t have to be a sentence. Blessings

  35. John Thomson says:

    Grahame, I agree completely with that. In my own life with medication and adjustments to lifestyle, I live largely above it. But some symptoms are always present. I believe these are physiologically based rather than psychological or spiritually based. I have read a fair bit about it over the years but it is a complex beast.
    Again, I totally agree with your last comment. God bless.

  36. John some information for you. The latest research from the Institute of the Black Dog in Australia (government run) for treating mental illness is they have had great success in treating depression with magnetic waves. They have also had great success in treating it with targeted exercise programs and CBT which closes unwanted neutral pathways and creates new ones that helps avoid repressive thinking. ie it changes brain chemistry over time to improve quality if life of suffers. Their targeted exercise burns off some of the more unhelpful chemicals such as cortizol. Blessings

  37. John Thomson says:

    Grahame, many thanks.

  38. John Thomson says:

    I feel my earlier comment was wrong. I feel I don’t wish to label worry sin. The Lord knows and it is not his way of dealing with worry. It is too complex for glib answers like I gave. The reason I retract is I have been suffering from depressive symptoms again and am reminded how much more complex this is than my too quick and pastorally poor comment.

  39. John I to are a fellow suffer from depression and its often our own personnel journey that is the greatest teacher. It gives us a a more accurate lens to view the issue in a clearer light, especially when we share Gods grace to some one else who comes to us for help with a similar condition.. Blessings to you for your courage.

  40. I don’t like pubs labidux City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the front-runner for months and was jousting with Thompson for second place in polls as recent as early September. Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner leaped to the front of the pack for a time after getting into the race in May, before the public learned that his X-rated exchanges with women online continued even after similar sexting spurred his 2011 resignation from Congress. 

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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