I was doing research for a sermon and came across a book by John Haggai called, “How to Win over Worry.”
John Haggai says, “Worry is a sin. It is always a sin.”
How can someone make such an unqualified statement? Blanket statements are often true and false. The former will benefit the reader while the latter will chase away the skeptic. We must be careful to delineate truth so we have a chance to win all of our readers.
Worry is defined as uneasiness or anxiety. How can we say those two words are unqualified sins? Maybe Haggai has a different definition of worry. If so, he should have said so. In being precise, we must define terms so everyone understands the premise.
John Haggai says, “Worry is distrust in the truthfulness of God and worry is detrimental to the temple of God.”
Haggai is exactly correct. However, the definition above is more expansive than that. We must always realize that God is with us and that He is our Lord and Provider.
“You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).
If we see anyone or anything else as our source of safety, answers or salvation, we have violated God’s will.
Uneasiness and anxiety, to an extent, are natural consequences of the human condition. A child will trust his father completely but will still tremble as he leaps off the pier into his father’s arms.
We know that the Lord will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), but we are still frightened when our car breaks down in the woods or we find ourselves lost in the concrete jungle at night. It is impossible to banish all of this from our minds and hearts.
It is dangerous to teach that ALL worry is sin because it places an impossible burden on the hearer. When the widow goes out that week and someone steals her car and she loses her job and can’t pay the utility bill or mortgage, would we all not feel uneasy or anxious if we were in her shoes?
Faith in God is required (Hebrews 11:6). It is the only hope we have to survive in this cruel world. We must trust God completely. Yet, we retain our humanity and denying that is folly and to our listeners, disaster.
Let us always take the time to qualify our statements and be as precise as possible so our readers or listeners will continue to listen.