I’m A Christian But I Still Worry

I am a natural born worrier. Ever since I can remember I have fretted and frowned my way through life. I can turn the slightest molehill into Mount Everest and the most innocuous issue into the mother of all dramas. Every week I look at my diary and am appalled by the appointments and commitments I have to navigate in order to make it through to the following weekend. If I wasn’t worrying about something then I’d be worried that I wasn’t worrying.

I worry about areas of my life that I suppose it is socially acceptable to worry about. My family, my work, paying the bills, all the normal stresses and strains of everyday life. But I also worry about upcoming events where I should be feeling a sense of anticipation and excitement as opposed to anxiety and edginess. I worry about my next run, my next writing session, my next day off.

Why am I worrying about events which should be reducing my stress levels as opposed to increasing them? Why do I place myself under this intense pressure? A lot of it comes down to my sense of worth and value. I beat myself up a lot about my past. I don’t like myself a lot of the time and I feel I have let a lot of people down, not least myself. So I try to be a better husband, a better father, a better person. Then worry myself sick when I sense I’m not quite at the level I believe I should be at.

I’m also trying to prove people wrong. Again myself included. That I’m not a failure, that I’m not a waste of time and space. That they were wrong to judge me and conclude I was a walking disaster. That I can succeed. So I set the bar so very high then worry as to how I am going to attain all the targets and goals I have set. And every time I reach one the sense of satisfaction is fleeting as I immediately focus on the next one.

As a Christian the Bible tells me not to worry. It’s chock full of verses to that effect. If you google ‘Bible verses worry’ you will be inundated. Jesus devotes a good chunk of Matthew 6 to the subject. Which, of course, makes me even worse when I worry. I’m worrying because Jesus told me not to worry. I’m not following his teaching, therefore I’m being disobedient, therefore I’m sinning. Oh woe is me.

But hang on a minute. Isn’t the Bible full of worriers? Great men of God who instead of glibly trusting the Almighty hummed and haahed with the best of them. Wouldn’t Noah have fretted when he sent the dove from the ark and then sat all those days waiting? What about David when Nathan told him God knew all about his little dalliance with Bathsheba? Or Paul (The Artist Formerly Known As Saul) when he was struck blind on his way to Damascus?

I reckon they all worked themselves into a right lather. Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Peter the list goes on. Jesus was without sin but he also experienced the same emotions as you and I. When he had his ‘moment’ in Gethsemane the night before the crucifixion did he experience dread and uncertainty? Was he worried about what was to come? He was God but he was also human and susceptible to human frailties. He got tired, he got hungry, he got angry. He worried?

The lesson I believe is how he and the others dealt with it. Yes, they worried but instead of succumbing to it they forged on ahead and overcame their fears in order to accomplish what God wanted them to. Paul became the greatest missionary ever known, Peter founded the Church we know today, Jesus went to the Cross and saved mankind. Their worries were temporary states of mind yet their achievements when they pressed on through are permanent and can never be taken away from them.

I’m a worrier. I was born one and I’ll probably die one. It’s the way I am. I can’t change that. But I can change how I handle my anxiety. Instead of crumbling under the strain and giving up I can persevere and get through it. I can pray for God not to remove the worry but to get me through it to the other side. Having faith means trusting God to guide you along the rocky paths, not removing them altogether. For the journey equips you with the attributes you require for when you get to where you are meant to be. And that’s where the real work starts.

What do you worry about?

How do you cope with worry?

Is it a sin to be a Christian and worry?

44 thoughts on “I’m A Christian But I Still Worry

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  1. I’m going to lithely dodge your main question and tell you about an exercise my counselor had me do.
    I was assigned to make a list: What I Know About Me. Being a meticulous and honest person, I created a lengthy assortment of good and bad (mostly bad).
    She read over them, explained how all of the negative ones were not accurate in their negativity, and assigned me to answer each one with The More Positive Truth.
    For you: you are not “a worrier.” You are intelligent, loving, and careful of risks. You care deeply about others.
    See? Try it. 🙂

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  2. 1. What do you worry about?

    I used to spend a lot of time worrying about whether I am doing a good job as a father. I am being treated with PTSD and depression. My wife has depression and consistently needs to be supported to get her motivated to move around. My eldest 19-year-old daughter suffers anxiety and recently treated for anorexia. My sixteen-year-old daughter is doing well at school and has set clear goals and ambitions, but I don’t think I celebrate this enough. My 14-year-old and youngest daughter has a learning difficulty being about 3 years behind in the expected level she should be at.

    To set aside these worries I take on other things to put a blanket over these, but then overdo it, and they become worries themselves.

    I guess I am trying to ascertain my self-worth, even though a lot of people have respect for me and in what I do.

    How do you cope with worry?

    I have found that I was doing things at a million miles an hour and making lots of mistakes by working this way. Now that I have returned to Church and forced myself to drop everything else for at least one day a week and take a real Sabbath I am doing this more slowly and calculated. I am becoming very proud of the achievements I am now making and it is reflecting in my work and the rest of my life.

    Is it a sin to be a Christian and worry?

    At Church this weekend, the discussion was about boldness and worry. These two prominent themes of the Bible seem to be diametrically opposite. However, I don’t see worry being a sin in that usually the worry is caused by the guilt of having committed a sin, or being too cautious in making sure the action taken does not in fact be a sin, We are all flawed and God expects us to sin, and through Jesus Christ, He showed us that sinners are forgiven.

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  3. Hello Stephen, thank you for writing your blog. I’ve been going through depression and worry and anxiousness ……. Like you I have been using my blog to work out my thoughts and messages that I get from the LORD through reading my bible. You can read about them here https://leaves2.wordpress.com/ Over the past year as God has worked with me I have had many verses given to me. I am now in a better ‘place’ and the verse I have had is 1 Thes 5 v16-19. “Rejoice always. Pray constantly. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” How do you rejoice always? How do you give thanks in every circumstance? The joy of the LORD is my strength – as the song goes – I sing it regularly as I go about my daily life, and in a way that is one of my prayers – constantly. I give thanks in every circumstance by allowing Jesus to walk with me because that is His will for me, and you too – and again that is praying constantly. Being in tune and in touch with our LORD is all that He asks. Putting Him in the centre fills us with the peace He left with us. Let it flood in Stephen and you will feel a contentment that is like no other contentment. A peaceful contentment that is His for you. Be blessed. Alison

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  4. I relate to this very well… Most times I go through the fret journey for nothing.. But all I know I distract myself more by either playing games or watching a movie. Either way we humans, we just need to be more vigilant and know we have a big Father that loves us.. Am a work in progress but def know I will overcome

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  5. Yes I worry also and worry i have found its like the word says it doesnt add not one thing to my life. In fact it steals from us when we worry.

    The only way for me to cope is to put more of the word of God in me. Worry has run on auto pilot most of my life. Its deeply rooted in me. The word of God is a sword Hebrews 4:12 it can remove worry from my soul (mind,willx and emotions). So in a way worry can be sinful as it is against Gods word. I think I have seen a few posts where you say you dont read the word. May I encourage you to study worry and see what it says as yes I too battle it, but putting more of His word in has helped me shed layers of it.

    casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack–rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]
    1 PETER 5:7‭-‬9 AMP

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  6. No doubt you’ve discovered that worrying is a waste of time and energy. I finally realized that and stopped. Now I remember and meditate on one verse, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

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  7. Great post! I’m a worry Christian too. It’s human nature I guess. I’ve found that when I make the decision to stop worrying and give it to God, things really start to look up! Remember my post recently about that? Guess what? Steven made Master Chief AND we bought a house! God is so good!

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  8. We are only human. Worry is a natural, survivor’s instinct.
    However, I know someone who sounds just like you and is overly worried. I think I worry just the right amount and I feel terrible for those who can’t control the worry. It really is not worth all the stress and negativity it brings with it. Worry can be good to a point, past which it causes more problems than it brings solutions. Especially when other people are involved in your worry state.
    I hope you keep on finding ways to channel that worry energy appropriately.

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  9. I hear you – I almost wish worrying was an Olympic Sport…. Although the medals would probably make my neck ache… Ha!
    We’re all blessed with free will. Sometimes rewiring that concern and saying “Hey, you know what – this isn’t MY concern” is a beast. But that’s how it works. Beating yourself up isn’t going to help. You are loved. You are loving. You don’t control everything. You do control how you see things. Take one baby step at a time – today you aren’t going to worry about your next run. It will happen. What happens, happens – and you’re going to look for something amazing to make your heart lighter because you ran. And if you miss it because you sneezed – that’s okay too.
    Best wishes!

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  10. I have always been a worry wart. My grandmother always told me to sit in a chair and worry and then see if it did any good. It never did. I love the quote from Julian of Norwich ““All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” …I repeat it as a mantra and it helps.

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  11. ❤ this! Not that you are a worrier, but it sure feels better to know I’m not alone. And I’ve fallen out of my faith so much over the past year…its nice to hear someone write about their faith who isn’t a pastor or pastor’s wife. Thank you for that!

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  12. I’m also a life-long worrier. After much soul-searching, I now make a distinction between anxiety and worry. Anxiety is something I cannot help, much like being hungry or tired or in physical pain. But worry is a different animal. Worry is allowing, even encouraging, my thoughts to run off in a direction that is away from faith. Once I become aware of my runaway thoughts, I try to rein them in and “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5). I’m not always successful. 🙂

    I tend to agree with C.S. Lewis: “Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don’t agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.”

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  13. I’m the world’s worst worrier. I have this one fear that lately has been choking me and I end up crying myself to sleep over it.
    I know the Bible tells us not to worry and I try my best to live by what the Word says but worry and anxiety are so intertwined with my being. It’s a daily struggle but I know the Lord has my back and will get me through this.
    I’ve been focusing on Philippians 4:6-7 to get me through this one particular fear: “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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  14. I’m grateful for this post and your honesty. I tend to worry and be anxious about so many things. A lot of them are pressures I put on myself in order to feel good or productive enough. One thing I always try to do is speak God’s Word over my life and my identity. It is the truth and has the final say! I also remember pastor Steven Furtick saying that those who worry have big imaginations. Instead of allowing the devil to use that gift for worry, we can use it for faith!

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  15. Our pastor is doing a series on “silent killers.” Very first one, top hit – number 1 – was worry… Then came loneliness & last week, guilt (centered on Mom Guilt for Mothers’ Day ;-). Since this was fairly recent, & since I have run out of room for filing & have been tucking my notes in my lounge chair arm compartments, I pulled out the one on worry. According to Pastor, all of us have it…I think that’s obvious, too. But what might start as annoying can be the very thing that takes us out if we don’t pay attention & let it grow. He, like me, likes to nickname his worry, “concern” or “anticipation” – that allows him to see it as something that makes him a better leader, parent, husband, fin’l. manager, etc. But Worry never gets full even if you feed it. It won’t be ignored & it never goes on a diet. It comes from a word that means to strangle, suffocate or choke out, apparently! Paul, when he was on death row in prison, wrote Philippians with a theme of joy. Paul knew something about worrying & trials. Yet in Philippians 4:4 -9, some of his very last words were to rejoice in the Lord always, in everything bring your petitions by prayer with thanksgiving & the Peace of the Lord… (you know the rest). this is not an automatic reflex, as in “worry happens” or “joy happens.” We can prepare for/command a response! And here I fear that I might have lost the perforated portion of my notes that was attached to the first part! For I have a number one w/o any followups :-(. (Fear not 😉 – number one’s good. I wrote to “size it up – if you put your pinky finger in front of your face you can block something big that is at a distance. Worry’s in our face, up close & personal – it can block the bigness of …say, the Lord… but He is near! And He promises that. (Sermon notes end). You have a lot on your plate, friend, much more than I do. But know that the Lord is near, He has your life in His hand & He is guiding you in all you do. Leave the results up to Him, your worth is established in Him. God has covered all your sin, & He knows what you have on your plate. Your path is laid by the Lord and He is equipping you to run it. You need not worry for yourself or for others, for He holds them in His hands as well. wow. And now I have myself another blog :-). Thanks! And blessings in all you do, I love your writing!

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  16. Thank you for posting this! I am by nature a worrier, and prone to horrible depression (of which I have been feeling the tugs of its beginnings).
    Great reminders of where our strength is and where we should turn.
    Blessings~

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  17. Worry is an invite. We can either accept it or not, which you covered wonderfully in explaining it is how we manage other aspects that come with it.

    I am going to add this post to the community spotlight and post it in my Christian Bloggers to check out board on Pinterest. 🙂

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  18. Took the words right out of my brain 😊 I’ve never met anyone who understood or experienced the anxiety that I feel everyday. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this.

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