Where Does Anxiety Fit Into The Life Of A Christian?
By: Brian A. Yeager
Anxiety is: “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome” (New Oxford American Dictionary). Before we even begin to examine the Scriptures, does that sound like a mindset fit for a Christian? Does that sound like a mindset of a person who trusts in God, looks forward to eternal life, and does not allow the events of this life to shape or shake them?
Anxiety is obviously a disorder that starts in the mind of a person. A Christian is supposed to be someone who has a focused mind. Notice: “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established… Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts… I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith… Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ… That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind… If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth… Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Proverbs 16:3, Isaiah 55:6-9, Romans 12:1-3, II Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 4:22-23, Colossians 3:1-2, and I Peter 1:13).
When you read the Scriptures above, you see that a Christian is supposed to control his or her mind. That is a command of God. When you do not follow a command of our Lord, you have sinned (I John 3:4). All it takes to be a sinner is to fail in one thing (James 2:10-12). The wages of sin is eternal death/damnation (John 5:28-29, Romans 6:23, and James 1:13-16). Therefore, we need to understand that when you or I fail in controlling our thinking and/or way of thinking; we have sinned. In that state of being, a Christian MUST confess that sin to God and change immediately (Psalms 32:5, Ezekiel 14:6, Ezekiel 18:25-32, Matthew 3:8, Luke 13:1-5, Acts 8:12-24, Acts 17:30, Romans 2:4, II Peter 3:9, I John 1:9, and Revelation 3:19). On top of the points we’ve already addressed, worrying is clearly wrong according to the Scriptures.
Anxiety Is Sinful
Notice the following Scriptures, some of which speak directly to anxiety [cares] and others which apply in principle: “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep… Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad… A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken… A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones… Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me… Be careful [“anxious”; Strong’s # 3309] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things… Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier… Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (Psalms 127:1-2, Proverbs 12:25, Proverbs 15:13, Proverbs 17:22, John 14:1, Philippians 4:6-8, II Timothy 2:3-4, and I Peter 5:6-7).
If you are a Christian, you were baptized into Christ because you are commanded to do so (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, etc.). If you are a Christian, you worship God in spirit and in truth because you are commanded to do so (John 4:23-24). If you are a Christian, you tell the truth because you are commanded to do so (Ephesians 4:25). We could go on and on with things we do because God tells us to do so. How is not being anxious any different? How is that some sort of lesser instruction? If you’re a worrier, is it because you want to disobey God or is there another reason behind it? If this is a problem in your life, you have to figure out why.
Some Christians chronically worry about Hell. Why? If you’ve obeyed the Gospel and are living aright, what is there to worry about? Don’t you believe God when He says He forgives those who obey Him (Proverbs 28:13, Romans 6:12-23, Titus 3:3-8, and I John 1:7)? If you’re a Christian, you’re not upright in worrying about your past sins (I Corinthians 6:9-11, II Corinthians 5:17, and Titus 2:11-14). If you are a Christian that erred, confessed, and repented (as addressed earlier in this article); you’re not upright in worrying about those sins either (I John 2:1). Remember, Jesus is our advocate with the Father so that if you or I err and make it right, we can be forgiven (Hebrews 7:24-25).
If I believe in God and I am doing my part in life, I won’t worry about carnal things (Matthew 6:24-34). If I believe in God and I am doing my part in life, I won’t worry about spiritual things either (Hebrews 10:23). Like David, we should be able to encourage ourselves in the Lord (I Samuel 30:6). Therefore, stop worrying. Anxiety has no place in the life of a faithful Christian!
Volume 14 – Issue 11 - December 1st, 2013