Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Philippians 4:6 (TPT)
Anxiety is Not a Sin – The Sin Series – Part 4
Anxiety is not a sin.
It really isn’t.
Maybe for you, anxiety is an illness (also not a sin). Maybe, it’s a habit or a part of your personality (nope, still not a sin).
Some of us are just extra sensitive. We feel everything. Before we know it, our mind has run down every avenue of possibility before it’s had a chance to check in with reason and rationale.
And still, it’s not a sin. It's not shameful. And it's not a defective part of you. Worry highlights what you care about, what you love, what your values are. It reveals your fears, which inadvertently reveals your hopes, too.
Listen to your anxiety, figure out what it's trying to tell you. Sometimes, the message needs to be heeded. Sometimes, it needs to be wrestled to the ground. And sometimes, it needs to be ignored. But you, feeling things? That, my friend, is a gift.
“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” (Phil 4:6 TPT).
Trying to “not worry” is not as easy as it sounds. It’s one thing to throw this verse around; it’s another to practice it. Because that’s what it is: a practice. Not a platitude, not a dot point list of actions and procedures. But a practice. One that takes time and learning and will change and morph with your seasons and situations. You can’t turn worry and fear and anxiety, off. There is no switch.
But there is practice.
Many have been ostracised by the Church for their anxiety. Cast out, ignored, put in the “too hard” basket. At an event I spoke at recently, a woman told me how she had recently heard a sermon in a large, prominent church in Australia, where the preacher said that fear and anxiety were sins, and then lead an “altar call” for those people to repent. And of course, the call to repentance included a walk to the front of the church, in full view of the whole congregation. Yep. Cos someone who is struggling with anxiety will do that.
My friend, anxiety is not a sin. It’s a symptom of your deep sensitivity. Yep, it might get you in trouble. It might keep you up at night. It might cause you to say and do irrational things. So, here’s where your work lies:
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing:
When you feel anxious, try and pull back from it like you’re observing it, rather than caught in it. Try to analyze it. (It takes practice. You have time and grace for it).
Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude:
When you feel anxious, welcome those thoughts and introduce them to gratitude. Anxious about paying a bill? Welcome that thought, and then introduce it to how grateful you are to have a roof over your head. (It takes practice. You have time and grace for it).
Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.
Be open to the Divine. Share your anxiety with the one who is love, and loves you not in spite of your worry, but because of how much you care.
Answers are not things you read, but truths you live into. And there’s grace for the living.
It takes practice. And there's all the grace in the world for it.
Written by Liz Milani