Is being anxious a sin? Yes, it is. Anxiety is as much of a sin as lying, stealing, cursing, bitterness, resentment, and anything that satisfies the lusts of the flesh.
Anxiety and Worry are synonymous. If you are anxious, you are worried, and if you are worried, you are anxious. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary characterizes anxious as “extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency: WORRIED, resulting from or causing anxiety: worrying.”
The Scriptures speak about being anxious. Anxiety involves lack of trusting in God and lack of putting our faith in Him. Anxiety will make us focus on our problems, trials, and circumstances; Anxiety doesn’t allow for us to look to God first and foremost. Anxiety, like any other sin, will wear us out and drag us down into the muck and mire, wallowing in ourselves.
Jesus has a most awesome prescription to handle anxiety. This is what His prescription is and is shown to us in Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT), “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’”
Did you see that? Jesus is not asking or suggesting. He’s not making a recommendation. Jesus has just given a direct command. In a nutshell, He has just told us to come to Him (HELLO HE IS WELCOMING US TO THROW ALL OUR ISSUES ON TOP OF HIM), all of us who are weary and carry heavy burdens. Let’s take Note Jesus’ commands to us: (1) Come to me, (2) Take My yoke upon you, (3) Let me teach you. And if we follow those commands, look at the promises: (1) Jesus will give us rest, (2) He’s humble and gentle and will show us what to do, and (3) He will give us rest for our souls, (4) Jesus doesn’t topple us over with manmade rules and manmade traditions. His commands are not burdensome and what He tells us to do and gives us won’t weigh us down.
Jesus also said to us as shown in Matthew 6:34 (NLT), “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Even the Apostle Peter urges and tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you.” Anxiety comes with a whole host of emotions. If we’re anxious, we will end up being scared, and if we end up getting scared because we’re anxious, then we’re going to end up being sad. If we end up sad because we are scared because we’re anxious, we’re going to end up confused. If we end up confused because we’re sad because we were scared because we’re anxious to begin with… Well, we can see where this is going…
We end up looking like this gentleman in the photo to the right -weighed down by multiple suitcases, unable to barely take a step, and when trying to take a step land on our faces because the load is too much to bear.
Christ is our Yokebearer, and He can handle whatever baggage we have to give Him. He is the Lord who is Savior and the One Who Has Redeemed Us. Our God is the One Who Delivers Us from all our troubles (Psalm 34:19), and there is nothing like giving it all over to Him. Part of surrendering our lives to Christ is trusting Him in all things, to trust His love and His heart for us. He is looking out for us. He is the One who tells us, “Come to me.”
When we shift our focus back on to God and begin to praise Him, we will find our cares lifting as we surrender our anxiety to Him. As we continue to praise the Lord and lift our voices in song to Him, we will find all the things of this world become so insignificant in His presence. The Lord Your God never slumbers and never sleeps, and He is the Shepherd of our Heart!
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
TIME TO CHECK IN OUR BAGGAGE
Heavenly Father, You have been the Shepherd of my Heart. You always take care of me. You have not forgotten me because You, O LORD, have engraved my name in the palms of Your hand. I confess my sin of anxiety before You, O LORD, and ask that You forgive me as I am giving all of my cares and concerns to You right now in Jesus’ name. I thank You that I am able to look to You, knowing You are my Redeemer and Deliverer, trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross who shed His blood that I would be healed and set free. Thank You for being my Yokebreaker. Help me to always put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that my soul need not be downcast because my hope is in the Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
“To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness,
they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted
for his own glory.”
(Isaiah 61:3 NLT)