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The Sin of Worry

There are so many things to worry about — health, finances, job security, marriage, relationships, etc. The list is endless. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, Jesus says the phrase “do not worry” three times (v. 25, 31, 34). The Greek word for “worry” is translated “to be anxious; distracted; troubled with cares.” It is that kind of worry that is a sin.

But let’s also use common sense here. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about life, responsibilities, the future, and other cares and concerns. But what Jesus is doing in Matthew 6 is sounding a warning for us — do not allow these concerns to turn into anxiety, unrest, and a troubled mind.

So, how can we defeat the sin of worry?

Determine your Master (v. 24): And it’s not just decisions between sin and righteousness. It goes further than that. It also includes concerns that aren’t sinful (Luke 10:38-42). If we become troubled by even things that are good, we will find ourselves like Martha — worried and stressed out.

Don’t do something that accomplishes nothing (v. 27): Worry is not a wholesome activity. It is futile in nature. In fact, the majority of the things we worry about is out of our hands. Worrying accomplishes nothing. You’re not going to live an hour longer or grow any taller.

Check the spiritual boxes first (v. 33): Attend to the spiritual things first, then the rest will work out. You will eat your next meal. You will have somewhere to lay your head at tonight. You will have clothes on your back. So, focus on spiritual work, and God will take care of all your needs.

Learn to live one day at a time (v. 34): If we spend today worrying about tomorrow, we’ve robbed ourselves of the blessings of today. Learn to rejoice and be glad in the day you’ve been given (Psalm 118:24). Jesus isn’t saying to completely abolish planning. He’s making it clear that we are to experience and enjoy life in the present.

Trust God (v. 25-26, 28-32): Do we forget, sometimes, we are the crowning jewel of God’s creation? We are the pinnacle of His creation. Of course He’s going to take care of us. We can trust God. We serve a God who knows, and will provide, our every need.

Steven Matthews


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