How Worry Paralyzes Our Spiritual Growth

How Worry Paralyzes Our Spiritual Growth May 29, 2024

worry kills our spiritual growth


The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along that path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes along and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.

Mark 4: 14-20


In Edward Welch’s excellent book on worry, anxiety, and fear titled, Running Scared: fear, worry, and the God of rest, the author helps readers unravel the damage done by persistent fretting. Throughout this resource , Welch helps Christians better understand the foundation of their fears. This passage in Mark explains how many individuals can get trapped into the temporary material (or physical) blessings in this life.

Worry kills our spiritual life

He tells us that there are specific spiritual life killers. Namely, we can get caught up in the deceitfulness of wealth (Matthew 19:23-24); the desires for other things (Romans 7:8); and worries.

Welch explains what worry can do to dismantle and stymie our spiritual growth –

  • Worry is focused inward.
  • It prefers self-protection over trust.
  • It can hear many encouraging words – even God’s words – and stay unmoved.
  • It can be life-dominating.
  • It is connected to your money and desires in that it reveals the things that are valuable to you.
  • It can reveal that you love something more than Jesus. It crowds Jesus out of your life.

When we trust in God inner freedom begins

The more we linger on this passage from Mark and ask God to reveal to us areas where we are prone to worry, we can begin to discover inner freedom. We can start on the path to a deeper internal freedom from anxiety and fear that paralyzes us from living fully in the gift of these twenty-four hours.

Imagine learning to lean in closer to Jesus when facing uncertainty and fears rather than trying to prop ourselves up in our own meager strength.

God’s plans are always superior to our own

Throughout this encouraging resource, we can learn to rest in God rather than making all sorts of backup plans and human devised maneuvers to keep us safe. God desires that we cling to him in our hour of need and put the full weight of our trust in him alone.

When worry comes calling, run to Jesus

As Welch concludes, our worry is a sign that we are in danger. Not danger from without…but from within. It’s our heart that needs quieting. It’s our soul that needs calming. Truly, our greatest need in times of worry is to turn immediately to our heavenly Father and tell him all about our fears. We can grow to become fruitful believers who image Christ well to an unbelieving world when we cast our cares unto the Lord and bask in his perfect love for us.

About Michele Howe
Michele Howe is the author of 29 books for women, children, and families. She has published over 3000 articles, reviews, and curriculum. Her newest releases are The Humble Life - Walking with Jesus through the Gospels and Finding Freedom and Joy in Self-Forgetfulness. You can read more about the author here.

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