I am a twenty-one-year-old woman…. For the past nine months or so I’ve been suffering from anxiety. This condition has been very difficult for me, making me feel uneasy, insecure, and indecisive.
Two months ago, as a last resort, I went to the doctor…. I feel bad about that. I believe that it is a sin… and I even doubt my salvation because everything I feel goes against what the Lord tells me that I should feel as a result of the promises in His Word…. Is anxiety a sin?
We are very sorry that you are going through the difficulties of anxiety, but we are even more sorry that you have been misinformed about what it is.
Anxiety is not a sin. Nor is clinical depression, nor high blood pressure, nor diabetes. These are all medical conditions that come about because of malfunctions in our bodies. Your brain, your heart, and every other part of you consist of cells, hormones, chemicals, electrical signals, and organic materials. It is such a complex interconnected system that only our omnipotent God could have designed and created it.
Those who believe that malfunctions in the brain are a sin are unaware of recent scientific findings that are based on the scans of brains at rest and brains during activity. Doctors have found parts of the brain where anxiety can be identified.1 They have also found that those who have a parent with anxiety are more likely to experience anxiety themselves, because it can be genetic. Several genes have been identified that may carry a greater risk of anxiety and depression.2 All of these findings lead to the understanding that anxiety is a medical issue and not a spiritual issue. So going to a medical doctor is the right thing to do.
You mention God’s promises. The true promises of God involve His character. He is faithful and will always be with us.3 He will forgive us of our sins if we ask Him.4 He will take us to Heaven to be with Him if we have accepted His forgiveness and follow Him.5
Unfortunately, many people take Bible verses out of context and claim them as promises. Many of their claims are of promises of health and wealth. But Christ did not promise us those things. As a matter of fact, He said instead that we would be insulted, persecuted, and accused falsely.6
I follow Christ because I trust Him. When I am ill, I don’t doubt that He loves me and I don’t think that He is punishing me. I go to the doctor and take the medication that is prescribed. Of course I pray for healing, but I trust God to decide how to answer my prayer. If someone tries to tell me that I am ill because I have sinned, I excuse their ignorance of the Scriptures and their misinformation. I suggest that you do the same.
We wish you the best,
1 <http://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/anxiety-issues> Online 9 June 2017.
2 <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181683> Online 9 June 2017.
3 Mt 28:20
4 1Jn 1:9
5 Jn 14:3
6 Mt 5:1-12