My Sunday school lesson in church pointed out, perhaps, a little-known fact: Worry and anxiety, like over 600 actions and emotions and mindsets mentioned in the Bible, is a sin.
During the lesson, I thought about my days a newlywed, first back from my honeymoon. My mind went back to Monday, June 18, 2007, the day I realised that the honeymoon was over, and now, it was up to me to prove to my new wife that I was man enough to support her. Problem was, in spite of all my valiant efforts to find work that summer–I had nothing to show for it but a barrage of rejection letters, thanking me for applying, and wishing me luck on future career endeavors. Mrs. K, on the other hand, had a job she was doing for the summer–she was hired as a parapro, or teacher’s aide, for one of the public schools in town. She was working with kids as a reading specialist, the very same job I had applied for. I was turned down for the position. I continued to apply everywhere that summer, but with similar results. As the weeks passed, frustration set in. I felt I had failed the woman I love. Because the one pet peeve I have always had is a man who will not care for his own. For the Bible does say “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5: 8). I sincerely have believed that if an able-bodied man does not provide for his own family, he has debased himself to something even lower than pond-scum. In my own eyes, I had become righteous pond-scum of the worse kind.
I worried that she would think less than a man of me. I worried that she would leave, and rightfully so, I thought. What woman for long is going to put up with a man who can’t find a means of supporting her? Is it fair of me to expect this woman to get up every morning like a man, and go out there and work an eight hour day, whilee I sat at home with nothing to do? I would help around the house, which is what she said she really needed at the time. But once the cleaning was done, I would pray about finding a job, and then after praying I would search, put in applications, and still worry.
It became my preoccupation. Intellectually, I knew that the Bible said, “Take no thought over what ye shall eat or drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on” (Matt. 7: 25). But the command not to stress out was hard to carry out, also in view of what God also clearly had said in I Tim. 5: 8. I knew that God holds me as the man of my household responsible for every aspect of it. Yes, she is working, but God holds me accountable for seeing that the needs of the household are met. And our needs grew to be many. Often we ran out of soap, dish detergent, toothpaste, toilet paper, and food. Clearly, I felt I had fallen way short of God’s divine Call on my life as a husband. I thought as the man of the house it was my job to worry about this.
In the Sunday School lesson today, our pastor pointed out that it is God’s job to worry about such things. He can handle the job of worrying. We cannot. In fact it has been proven that worry, when we do it, often leads to high blood pressure, cancer, strokes, heart ailments of all kinds. We are weak, we are limited. And Jesus went so far to point out the uselessness of worry. He said that it will not add one inch to your height (Matt 6: 27).
So why would worry be classified as SIN? Because Jesus says, “Don’t do it,” and we do what He has clearly asked us not to do. It is transgression of the law from Christ’s lips. What is sin but transgression of the law? It’s like if I ask my son to wash the car. He doesn’t do it. Has he been disobedient? Yes! I would probably ground him, whup his tail, and dock his allowance as well. Sin, then, is disobedience to God’s law as laid out in His word. Pure and simple. The Bible makes it very clear that Christ is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5: 27). That means we must be Holy and perfect, the sin washed completely out of our lives. Thus I realized something today: Worry will condemn me to a burning Hell, just as lying, thievery, and sexual immorality will.
But there are two things about this that I find quite freeing? Just like other sin, worry is a choice. As my pastor has pointed out, worry is natural. Therein lies the problem. We are to live in the Supernatural. And I can actually choose not to worry. I can give the thing causing me so much grief to God at His altar in Heaven, and leave it there, knowing that He will work it out. I can choose to not worry, or be anxious.
The second thing about this is that I can repent. I can acknowledge that I have been doing something in my thought life that has grieved my Saviour’s Heart, and can ask Him for forgiveness, and the power to stop worrying. And I can concern myself with doing more productive things with my thoughts, with my life. If something is not yielding fruit for Him towards the Kingdom of God, it doesn’t need to be part of my life, whether it’s lust, covetousness, or worry, or whatever else!