Someone commented on this post about Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, & Fear upset that I would refer to anxiety as a sin. “Anonymous” was dismayed that I would suggest someone with an anxiety disorder is sinning, then went on about mental illness and being embarrassed to be a Christian. I deleted it of course, because I delete any negative comments. But, I did spend a little time thinking about it & questioning if that statement had any Biblical basis. I always, always want to share BIBLICAL truth & never want to stray from that.
And to be honest, I almost went in to that post to edit that part after first reading the comment. I did try my best not to undermine people who have those feelings because I know they are very real.
But, after thinking about it, talking to Jon about it, and praying about it, I decided to write a blog post further sharing my perspective, because I think this may bring spme clarity. I will back what I believe with Scripture references. I pray that “anonymous” comes back long enough to read this post and at least consider it. That comment is EXACTLY what is wrong with modern day Christians, in my opinion, and here’s why.
The modern church is too afraid of offending someone to call sin what it is…sin.
In Greek, the word sin means “missing the mark.” Missing the mark is when we don’t do what God tells us to do and when we DO what He tells us not to do. Wouldn’t we all agree that if God tells us NOT to do something, and we DO it, that’s sin?? It’s pretty black and white, really.
We are all in agreement that when God says do not murder (Exodus 20:13), it is sin to commit murder. When God says do not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14), it is sin to have an affair. When God tells us not to lie or steal (Lev 19:11), we are sinning if we lie or steal. But all of the sudden when God says “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:25, 34), or “Do not be anxious” (Phil 4:6-7), the waters get muddy and it’s NOT sin when we do it ?? It’s suddenly exempt under the precept that it’s “mental illness”? Friends, that is simply what our modern culture wants us to believe, and unfortunately what many of us have come to accept as “truth” without considering what the Word of God has to say about it.
Bottom line: We are all born sinful. Human nature is sinful. And we all have some type of sin struggle or tendency. But the good news? The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ came to SAVE us from that very sin! Does that mean we’ll be perfect? Of course not. But through Christ, we CAN have victory over sin (1 Cor 15:57). The Bible says that in Him, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). That’s part of how He demonstrates His power- by giving us POWER over SIN (Romans 6:14); something that takes supernatural strength and is something we would not be able to do in our own flesh (Phil 4:13).
When we walk in sin, we hurt our fellowship with God. It separates us from a Holy God. The only way to restore it is through repentance and seeking forgiveness.
**By the way, there is a big difference in anxiety (which I was referring to in that post) and an anxiety disorder or a mental illness. I wasn’t really writing about that. I do know mental illness is real. I believe it is from the enemy and rooted in sin (not necessarily the person struggling with the illness), or sometimes it may be some type of brain deficiency. Sometimes it is the sad consequences of others’ sins or upbringing. For example, an adult may struggle with an anxiety disorder as a result of sexual or physical abuse as a child. That is not THEIR fault in any any way, but unfortunately they are dealing with consequences as a result of another’s sins. Whether we like it or not, there are ALWAYS consequences for sin (principle of reaping and sowing), and sometimes others pay. When a drunk driver makes the horrible decision to get behind the wheel and kills someone else, others suffer from the heartbreaking tragedy of that person’s sin.
I DO believe our God can HEAL that though. I believe He is capable of healing, restoration, releasing from bondage, & removing demons. He is willing & able to do this for His children. And I also believe He gives us doctors, medicine, therapy, and counseling to help people through some of those things.
Also, Jonathan wanted me to clarify that I was not saying we never have thoughts of worry. We do. I was just sharing how we have learned/are learning to combat that (how we combat ANY sin struggle) Biblically. Through studying Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15), through renewing our mind (Romans 12:2), through praying without ceasing (1 Thess 5:16), through praising & worshiping (Psalm 86:12), & through choosing gratefulness (1 Thess 5:18).
I hope that helps. “Anonymous”…if you still disagree, it may be worth praying about & studying the Word to see what the Lord reveals to you about it. For me, I am choosing the believe that if God says NOT to do something and I do it anyway (regardless of the reason), it’s sin.
P.S. Sorry this ended up being so heavy.