Anxiety is a breeding ground for sin. So when an area of sin in your life or in a loved one’s creates anxiety in you, it doesn’t help. In fact, it can
make things worse.
Have you experienced this?
In stark and beautiful contrast, Jesus is not anxious:
- He talks alone with a scandalously sinful woman as though she were his next-door neighbor (John 4:5 – 26).
- He invites himself to lunch at a corrupt tax collector’s home like he were a close friend Jesus hadn’t seen since college (Luke 19:1 – 10).
- And when a known criminal crucified next to him asks to be let into God’s Kingdom, Jesus—hanging from nails in his wrists and feet—responds, in essence, “Absolutely. I’ll see you there soon” (Luke 23:39-43).
Jesus’ non-anxious presence around sin and sinful people unsettled religious leaders. They mistook it for indifference or approval of sin. It was just the opposite.
Jesus knew the deadly power of anxiety to keep people in their sin, versus his power to deliver them from it.
To have something inside that overwhelms you, that feels so unruly and yet so much a part of you, that compels you to do what you don’t want and that refuses to do what you do want?
It’s the stuff of horror films.
But Jesus looks square in the face of all that frightens you. He does not cringe, flinch, or squirm. He is the Strong One, the Deliverer, the King.
And he looks into your eyes. He is the faithful Bridegroom come to rescue his bride. For love of her, he will cleanse her from sin when she falls, and he will give her his strength so she need not fall any longer.
She is you. Don’t be afraid.
“Fear not, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the Kingdom.” (Jesus in Luke 12:32).
Question: Where else in Scripture do you see Jesus being a “non-anxious presence” when confronted with sin or struggle? What can we learn from this as we face sin in our own lives or in the life of another?
Taking a deep breath,
This is so true. Fearful avoidance of sin can lead to sin just as easily as preoccupation with sin. Healing comes when we learn to trust.
I think of Jesus walking to his disciples on the troubled water, then catching Peter when he becomes afraid. Thanks for the great post!
Jesus and Peter on the water is a great example of this. Love it! Thanks, Matt!