(Ask the Pastor is a weekly series that appears in the Northwest Baptist Church Sunday Bulletin. This question and others in this series are submitted from those who attend Northwest Baptist Church)
Question: Is worry indicative of a lack of faith? – Bob
Answer: Thanks for your question, Bob. I will refer to what Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount. He commands those listening, “do not be anxious about your life.” (Matthew 6:25) Jesus is specifically referring to clothing and eating here, but I believe you can make this applicable to whatever worries our hearts. Jesus continued by asking a rhetorical question, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27) Jesus’ point is simple. Worrying is counterproductive. For some reason we think we can change things with worry, but in reality it only serves to do damage physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Nobody can change their problems by the futile habit of worry. We must accept that there will always be things to worry about, but we have a Good God nonetheless.
Bob, I believe the real answer to your question is found in these next two verses. Why does Jesus tell us not to worry? We should not worry because we belong to God. He says, “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:32) When we worry we live no differently from someone who has no faith in God (a pagan). So yes, worry is indicative of a lack of faith. When we worry we try to solve our own problems instead of trusting in our Heavenly Father who is wise, strong, and good. This is all easier said than done. We are sinners and we will continue to worry until the day we die. This is something the Holy Spirit needs to mature us in as we live the Christian life. Everyday we should trust Jesus more than we did yesterday. Instead of seeking the answers to our worries, Jesus instead tells us to seek after something different. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)