Is It Really a Sin to Worry?

Photo and art by Jodi Sparber

Anonymous asked a question:

My pastor has given two lessons on why worry is a sin and how to stop it. Is it really a sin if worry is somewhat out of your control? I have OCD and anxiety, and worry is at the root of both. Am I simply not trusting God enough? Am I a bad Christian?

Hey dear friend, I got a ton of love you. We’re fellow worriers! That doesn’t make you a bad Christian, just an honest one.

First things first: The Bible is very clear that we don’t need to be afraid or to worry. Every time an angel shows up in Scripture, the angel is always like, “Don’t be afraid!” Which is hilarious, because if an angel tore my roof off and yelled something in Hebrew at me, I would need to steam clean my floors. Twice.

So yes, your pastor is right, in that worry is a sin that will hurt you, especially when it gets carried away and exaggerates your fears into unrealistic over-phobias. It certainly doesn’t “help to worry.” It tries to conform reality to our expectations, but the more we try to bend the results, the more that we ourselves will break.

Yet on the other hand, God knows we’re going to worry. Some of us will worry more than others. Especially in your case, in which you deal with anxiety, and in my case, in which I deal with depression, we’re going to have an uphill battle. God doesn’t work in “ideals” all the time, but works in the actual gray-space of who-we-are. So while it would be very ideal if we never worried and always trusted Him, and that “not worrying” would be the healthiest things for us, it’s just not going to happen.

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