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Worrying Is a Sin

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Few Christians understand that the sin of worrying is a serious hindrance to their spiritual growth.

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Are you a worrier? Do you sometimes lie awake at night worrying about what might happen to you and your loved ones? Worrying may be defined as being concerned about things over which we have little or no control—those things which are not our responsibility. In this first segment of a 4-part series on anxiety, Dr. Don Dunlap reminds readers that God is our source, and he urges us to trust Him for our every need.

Few Christians understand that the sin of worrying is as serious a hindrance to their spiritual growth as are sins such as lying, cheating or stealing. Worrying may be defined as being concerned about things over which we have little or no control—those things which are not our responsibility. Conversely, when we concern ourselves with those things that God has defined as our areas of responsibility, we are not guilty of the sin of worrying.

Worrying gets us nowhere and it shuts our hearts and minds to God’s promptings.

Philippians 4:6,7 is a direct command for every Believer:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


The sin of worrying may be compared to rocking in a rocking chair. It keeps us busy but it doesn’t get us anywhere. Worrying is counter-productive. When we occupy ourselves with the job of worrying, we fail to maintain an attitude of prayer. Our hearts and minds grow unreceptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.


We are tempted every day to worry about situations that we face.

Christians face many situations in which they are tempted to worry and to fear. Someone who experiences the loss of a job or a reduction in income worries that he may not be able to pay his bills or to provide food for his family. A person who sustains a crippling injury or who must endure a prolonged illness, fears that he will be unable to fulfill his daily responsibilities. A change in employment or a move to a new home often causes an individual to be fearful and worried. People who must cope with their children leaving home or with the death of a loved one commonly respond by worrying.

A certain amount of worrying may be inevitable at times, but excessive worrying is sinful.

Instinctive responses to certain life situations do not qualify as worry. If, for example, we stand in the middle of the highway during rush hour traffic we should feel worried. When Jesus instructed us not to worry He was not forbidding us to have a valid concern for our God-given responsibilities. God wants us to work diligently at our jobs, take care of our families, maintain orderly homes and be dependable members of the Body of Christ.

The writer of 1 Timothy 5:8 warns,

If any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.

God does not prohibit His children from having proper financial foresight. Christians should be prepared to provide for unexpected needs by regularly saving money. In Proverbs 6:6,7 we read these instructions, “Go to the ant…consider her ways, how she stores up.” Yet, we must be careful to remember that God is our source. We should trust Him to “give us our daily bread.”


John Wesley once said, “I would as soon swear as fret.” When we face difficult situations, the only biblical response is to place the responsibility for our problems on our Heavenly Father. We should flee to Christ in prayer. We must not allow ourselves to become discouraged or to waste time worrying needlessly. When we cast our burdens on Him He will not fail us.


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