Worrying is one of those things that we can all admit is not healthy or good. But most Christians wouldn’t call it a ‘sin’. We usually reserve the word ‘sin’ for ‘big’ things like murder and stealing. However if we’re being honest with ourselves, a ‘sin’ is any action that disobeys God. God tells us over and over in the Bible to not worry:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. Yet I tell you not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the fields that is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you–oh you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
-Matthew 6: 25-34
So why are we so quick to dismiss the sin of worrying? We’ll shrug it off, saying, “Well it’s easier said than done”, “God understands”, “Well, I just can’t help it”.
God wants us to trust Him with our lives. He wants us to believe that He can take better care of us than we could ever manage on our own. Moreover, He wants us to know that He wants to take care of us.
I learned a lesson today about how dangerous the sin of worry truly is.
We slept in until 9:30 this morning. My 3 year old needed to get in for a same day appointment with the doctor because her asthma has been acting up, she only had 2 days of albuterol left, and I’m leaving them with my husband for 3 days starting tomorrow so I can fly to California for my grandpa’s funeral. She needed to get in today. So instead of having my devotional and posting my verse of the day right after I woke up, I looked at the time, panicked and decided to call the appointment line first because they had already been open for 2 hours and she needed to be seen today. “God will understand; I mean, this is really important. I have to take care of this first”, I rationalized to myself. I was on hold for 5 minutes, but ended up getting her an 11:15 am appointment. I then rushed around like a crazy person getting myself and the 3 kids breakfast and dressed and out the door so we could make it to the appointment on time.
As I was about to put my shoes on, I remembered that I hadn’t done my devotional or posted my verse yet. Wishing to put God first, I stopped myself and took 2 minutes to post my verse of the day. While I did that, the two older girls went outside. They have done this many times before. But today, the garage was cracked open so that the dogs could get out if they needed to go potty. Today, my 4 year old tried to open the garage for her 3 year old sister, who was already crawling underneath it, not realizing that it was going to go down, not up. Today, my 3 year old almost got caught underneath the garage door; almost became another statistic of children who die in a tragic accident of a very common mistake. Today, God sent an angel to protect my precious girl while I was busy trying to control my own life.
My initial reaction was to blame my insistence on posting my verse of the day instead of waiting to do it later. But God gently pried, asking if it was really the choice to post a verse that was the mistake. Then He led me back through the crazy morning I had, to the very beginning, when I chose to put my worry over Him. You see, my decision to not start my day off with God was much bigger than I could have ever anticipated. Because I chose to take matters into my own hands and skip my devotional time, I didn’t post my verse first thing. Because I didn’t post it, when I remembered about it, I felt guilty and did it at the wrong moment. Had I dismissed my worry of not getting my daughter into the doctor today and taken the 5 minutes to be with God and post my verse and give Him the reins of my day, I would have been walking out the door at the same time as my kids and prevented the near fatal accident from ever happening. The crazy part–I was on hold for 5 minutes anyway. So even though I jumped on the phone right away, I actually didn’t make anything happen any faster than if I had given those 5 minutes to God like I should have.
My sin of worrying almost cost my daughter her life today. That is not me being over-dramatic. It is a fact.
Friends–do not dismiss the sin of worry. It’s not that God will get angry with us if we choose to worry. It’s not that He won’t understand our human tendency to worry. The lesson to be learned is that God is trying to show us a better way to live in order to prevent us from making catastrophic mistakes. Little sins matter just as much as big ones. That’s why God is clear in the Bible that He sees every sin on an even plane. My ‘little’ sin of not putting God first this morning caused a ripple that had the potential to grow into a tidal wave.
We need to stop lying to ourselves and stop being dismissive about ‘little’ sins. Our mission every day is to seek God first, and follow His lead. If we do that, He promises that everything else will fall in line. I think the Creator of the universe and life itself can handle it; don’t you?