Hi, I am a bible college student, a future teacher, a dog lover, and a worrier. I am currently taking a class talking about sin. During this class, we have the opportunity to read Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. This book talks about various sins that we as Christians have made “respectable”. In chapter 8 Bridges state that anxiety is a sin. Personally, I often struggle with anxiety and I really wanted to learn more about his perspective on anxiety and why it is a sin. Bridges bases his understanding off of how “The opposite of trust in God is either anxiety or frustration”. (Bridges) There are many times in the scriptures where it states do not be afraid or do not be anxious. We can find these in Matthew 10:31, or Luke 12:7. In 1Peter 5:7, states, “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you”. We are told many times in the Bible to not worry or be afraid.
In this world things that can cause anxiety is all around us. From school to COVID and the unknown. Every day the worry of how will this paper get done or when will this hard time be over.
Studies show that COVID has been a large factor in anxiety in many individuals. Many of the reasons for this is the unknowns of the vaccine and mandates (Ravikumar). There is also misinformation that spreads which causes more stress and anxiety for both men and women (Ravikumar). Covid stress and anxiety is something we can relate to as a world right now as each country is navigating this pandemic of two years. Many people want to know, what do we do next? When will it end? So many unknowns which cause anxiety in many.
Bridges states that there are two main reasons why anxiety is a sin. The first is that it is a distrust of God. When we have anxiety we are taking our eyes or trust away from God and putting in on ourselves or things around us. God knows all and we simply don't. Anxiety often comes about when there is a time or place where you feel uncertain or lost. When this happens rather than continuing the cycle of worry, step back and focus on the one who has created us and has a plan for us, God! We can put our trust in him.
The second is that it is a lack of acceptance of God's plan in our lives. When we worry and have anxiety, we are not accepting God's plan for us. It is easy to worry about details and make sure that all line up in your life, but we must remember that God is in charge of our life and he sees it all. He has created it and he has a plan for each of us.
So I challenge you friends to point out in your life where you are trying to take control rather than giving it to God. I have been writing down ways that God has been working in my life, this helps me focus my anxious thoughts about my life, showing me that God is in my life and he is working. In what ways is God working in your life? How can that help you work through your anxiety?
Bridges, Jerry. “8.” Respectable Sins, NavPress, Colorado Springs, CO, 2017.
Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 2017.