Anxiety, Faith

Your Anxiety Is NOT A Sin

Your Anxiety Is Not A Sin

I haven’t written about my faith a lot lately for a variety of reasons, but I just wanted to say something real quick to those in the Christian community. Your anxiety, your depression, your mental illness IS NOT A SIN.

It’s not a “sin.” In any way. At all. 

It’s not giving into weakness. It’s not “not trusting God enough.” It’s not “not reading scripture enough” or  “not praying enough” or “not enduring enough.” It is an illness. Like any other illness, and it is not a sin.

The reason I’m writing this is because I recently came across a blog post by another Christian who stated that anxiety can “sometimes be a sin.” This is not the first time I’ve read something like that, and definitely not the last, unfortunately.

I may sound a little bit angry and that’s because I am a lot bit angry. I could go on and on and on about this, but I won’t. I’ll just go on a little bit longer.

Even if you do believe that the “average” person “not trusting God enough” or worrying about “normal” everyday life is sinful (which, spoiler alert, I don’t believe), it is still harmful to say those things because anyone can read your words – even those with serious anxiety disorders or other mental health disorders. And anyone can take those words to heart.

This isn’t about trust. This isn’t about faith. It’s about your physical brain. It’s about illness.

So, in case someone has made you feel like you are “failing God” or just “not trusting Him enough” because of your mental illness – please remember those things aren’t true. Those with diabetes or cancer or paralysis or a cold or literally anything else are not failing God, and neither are you.

And if you don’t really know how to react when someone with a mental illness confides in you, here are some alternatives to “You just need to trust God more!”

You can say: “I’m so sorry you’re feeling that way. I’m here for you.” Or you can say, “I would love to pray for you, is that okay?” Or you can say nothing at all and just offer silent comfort. Sometimes nothing is better than something.

5 thoughts on “Your Anxiety Is NOT A Sin”

  1. Yes, I’ve seen this a lot in the Jewish community too, unfortunately. Despite the large number of important historical rabbis who, if you read between the lines, seem to have suffered from depression or bipolar disorder.

  2. I completely agree with you. They think because we can’t “let go and let God” take over, we’re not strong enough in our faith. What they don’t understand is that if we could help the way we think, we would. Our minds are our worst enemy. It constantly lies to us. If anything, it makes our faith stronger. When we can’t trust our own thoughts, we turn to God. My mental illness doesn’t make me a bad Christian; it makes me a stronger one.

  3. Depression, anxiety and the myriad of mental circumstances are no more sins than physical afflictions.
    Whereas it might be argued that giving into anger, despair or fear and committing a hurtful act on another might, just might be a sin (though the circumstances would have to be examined carefully). Mental circumstances themselves are not sins.
    A person who fights against or who accommodates the way they are assailed from within and makes it through their struggle into a day-to-day life is worshiping God as much as any person fortunate not to be taken in this way.
    Jesus Christ knows the suffering, and is with you all the way.
    God bless you
    Roger

  4. Thank you! I’m so completely over being prayed for and “delivered” from spirits of autism, depression, anxiety and bisexuality, and coming out the other side more “broken” than before. Until I’ve started to embrace all these supposed dysfunctioning parts of myself that also allow me to create my best work and be my best self. It’s made me distance myself from all things masquerading as Christian, when in essence being as part from everything Jesus supposedly embodied.

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