August 20, 2023

Sins of the Spirit #8: Worry

Passage: Matthew 6:25-34

Anxiety in our culture is almost an epidemic; many people are chronic worriers. Psychiatrists prescribe anti-anxiety medication and consumers deal their worries through alcohol, drugs, and attempts to escape reality. Stress can put us at risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other illnesses. Chronic anxiety can lead to depression and other serious psychological conditions. Worry is a major problem in the world and even in the church.

I read recently that 28%—that’s more than 1 of every 4 adults—experiences at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime. The total annual cost of anxiety disorders has been estimated to be between $42 and $46 billion. Americans spend around $12B per year on antipsychotic drugs to help them deal with anxiety.[1]

The word worry comes from an Old English term (wyrgan), meaning “to choke” or “strangle.”[2] Do you ever feel like you are almost choked or strangled by worry? Many people feel that way.

Christians should not be choked or strangled by worry.

Quote: “Worry is practical atheism and an affront to God.” (Robert Mounce)

Christians may have many concerns in this world and experience great tribulations, but we should not be chronic worriers. Worry is one of those sins of the spirit that we may struggle to control. Others may have no idea that we are chronic worriers; but worry may be, for some of us, a constant battle in our own minds. Perhaps some of you are worried right now.

Jesus provides an antidote to worry. We don’t need more anti-psychotic medication; we need biblical meditation, i.e., more exposure to God’s promises and more trust in God. If God provides for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, He will certainly care for His people.

What does Jesus say about this sin of the spirit?


[2] John MacArthur, Anxiety Attacked, MacArthur Study Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1993), 15.

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