A Biblical Perspective on Worry and Anxiety
Philippians 4: 6-7
6) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I worry. I worry a lot. About everything, even things I make up to worry about. As hard as it is to say, worry is a sin. The verse above does not say – try to not be anxious or try to not worry about everything – no, it says “DO NOT be anxious about ANYTHING…”
If you are like me, you don’t like to hear that. You want your worry to be OK, or, for it to be understandable based on your past or something terrible that happened to you. That is what I wanted. I had reasons to worry or be anxious from traumatic events in my past, but the truth is, whatever the reason for my worry, it is a sin.
The good news is that Christ died for my sins – all of them, including my worry and anxiety – and he washed them all away with his blood. That wasn’t done just for my sins in the past, but for the past, present and future. However, that doesn’t mean I should just keep on worrying and being wound up with anxiety. No, that means I should do whatever I can to get worry out of my life.
Why? It’s because the things in the Bible that God tells us not to do are for our own good. Any sin will lead to some sort of destruction or turmoil in our lives. Like worry. God says don’t worry because He wants us to realize that He’s got this and we don’t need to worry. Worrying doesn’t help anything and all it does is make us, well, worry.
The verse above is a popular verse for people to read and memorize, but do you know the 4 words that come just before it in verse 5? “The Lord is near.” For some reason that little phrase doesn’t make it when this verse is quoted or memorized because it is part of the verse prior. However, it is really an integral part of these verses. God is not shaming us for being worried, He is comforting us and telling us He is right here with us and He will take care of it and, if something bad does happen, He will get us through it.
All that being said, there are levels of worry and anxiety that need more than words to help. These conditions and disorders may require counseling and or medications and that is OK. The point is not to be ashamed that you worry or have anxiety, the point is that you don’t have to go through it alone. “The Lord is near.” There are also a lot of people out there suffering through worry and anxiety, like me, that would love to help support you as well and get through it together.
My main defense against worry is prayer. Every time I start to worry, I start to pray abut whatever I’m worrying about at that moment. Yes, some days (many days) it seems like I have to pray constantly, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t such a bad thing.
How do you combat your worry and anxiety?
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