Sanctified Anxiety

When Paul says don’t be anxious for anything (Philippians 4:6), he is not saying we shouldn’t care about anything. Concern is a virtue, especially if it is for someone else. God cares deeply for each of us. In John 14:1–4 we have a sacred promise that the believer has a place prepared in the mansion of a loving heavenly father. Jesus says this should remove being troubled for any reason. Our heavenly father is pictured as being in possession of a large home with plenty of room for everyone. Proper care and concern is a divine attribute. The comforting reality is that we can walk upon a fallen world, filled with crooked and perverse people knowing that God is watching over us and caring for us. Godly people show concern too. Earlier in Philippians Timothy is commended for his genuine concern (same word in 2:20 and 4:6). Paul is showing us that anxiety can have a positive or a negative connotation. So it is only the negative anxiety, manifest in worry, faithlessness, fear, and the pursuit of substitutes, that the Apostle is forbidding. The other kind of anxiety, like a parent for a child, is part of being created in the image of God.

One thought on “Sanctified Anxiety

  1. Thank you for defining the distinction between these terms; it clears up a major source of confusion for me. I was misinterpreting my concern for loved ones with (negative) anxiety or worry, which I know is not proper behavior.

    The faithless unsaved have reason to worry but are blinded beyond the point of concern – natural warnings are silenced by temporal pursuits and illusion has become for them false reality.

    Showing proper concern for my loved ones is appropriate, as is continuing to pray and wait on the Lord to move and bring the new life that illuminates the path from darkness.

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