Ask A Pastor: Is Anxiety a Sin?

This is a great question, but one that really needs a longer discussion to adequately address. Our understanding of the meaning of words is important because differences of meaning can cause people to be divided on these issues when they need not be. I encourage you to first define to yourself what you understand by the word anxiety and then compare it to how the Bible uses the word. Certainly, the Bible does speak about anxiety directly. Anxiety is spoken about in relation to commands. We are not to be anxious, read Matt. 6:25, 34 and Phil. 4:6. It seems clear that we are commanded by God to not be anxious. This would seem to indicate that anyone who is anxious is therefore sinning, they are doing what the Scriptures have said they ought not to do. I also suspect that there is no person alive who has not struggled with anxiety. Perhaps a comparison would be helpful. The Bible says “Fear not” over 350 times. Does this also mean that any time a person is afraid or fearful they are sinning? If you are 10 years old and your older brother jumps from behind the door and scares you, were you afraid for a moment or for 2 minutes? Have you sinned? You see how discussing a simple question can quickly become complex.