Worry may be the most common sin among your “regular” folks in the church. Now, you may think that’s not very encouraging. “Great, I worry about everything. And now on top of my worrying I am going to feel bad about worrying and I am going to worry about that.” But be encouraged: If worry is just a part of your personality or part of being a mom (or a student or a businessman or whatever), God may not do anything to help you. But if worry is a sin, then God can forgive you for it and help you overcome it.
Is there a sin nice, middle-class Christians commit more than the sin of worry?
You wake up 10 minutes later than you had hoped and anxiety already starts to creep in: What if I’m late? What about traffic? What’s the weather like? You pass by the mirror and worry that your face has more wrinkles than it used to. You rush downstairs and because you are in a hurry you let the kids eat whatever they want, so then you start to worry if sugar really does cause cancer. As you get the kids ready you realize one of your boys didn’t do his homework—again. You worry if he’s ever going to get his head screwed on straight, and as you drop the kids off you worry that they may fall in with the wrong crowd or fall off the monkey bars.
Once you get home you pull up Facebook just to unwind. There you read about how awesome everyone else’s kids are and all the amazing cupcakes your friends make, and you worry that you might be a failure as a mom. Later in the morning you feel that pain in your knee again. You worry about having to get knee replacement surgery and whether your insurance will cover that and how you’ll pay for it and who will take care of the kids if you are laid up for a month. Then you worry that maybe the pain is something worse, so you check all the medical web sites and realize you probably have a rare case of whooping cough that’s spread to your appendages.
Hours later when the kids are in bed you turn on the television to forget about the day. As you flip through the channels and get caught up on the news you start to worry about the economy and the polar vortex and the rise in crime in your city. You worry about the racial divisions in this country and how you’ll talk to your friend who sees things a little differently, and maybe you worry whether the police would treat you fairly or you worry about the safety of your brother who is a police officer. So you turn off the TV and talk to your husband and worry about his cough that doesn’t seem to get better and worry about the layoffs they’re having at work. And finally as you lay down for the night you feel a tremendous sense of anxiety and you don’t even know why. For reasons you can’t even understand, you start worrying about life and kids and your parents and your church and your health and flying and driving and sleeping and eating and a general fear that the days ahead could be really bad.
Can you relate?
Jesus can help.
Matthew 6:25-34 is one of the Bible’s great passages on worry. Three times Jesus says “do not be anxious” (25, 31, 34). But he doesn’t stop there. Jesus is interested in more than handing down commands. He wants to get at our hearts. And so he gives seven reasons why we should not be anxious.