Paranoia, anxiety, stress … could sin be a root issue?
1 Samuel 18 & 19
1 Samuel 18 & 19:
The Wicked Flee When No One Pursues
Two verses stood out to me in chapter 18:
Verse 12, “Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul.”
That verse sums up what had been going on for a while. David had never done anything but good where Saul was concerned, yet Saul was “afraid” of him. We love putting labels on everything today. Somehow if what we’re going through has a name, it makes us feel better. Today we might call what Saul experienced “paranoia” and the solution might well be medication.
Just putting a label on things doesn’t solve the problem and, while I’m not saying medication is always wrong, in this case, it might have gotten rid of the “bad feelings,” but would not have solved the root issue. In Saul’s case the root was rebellion and disobedience to God’s clear commands. Sin was the root of his paranoia!
Proverbs 28.1 says, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Could guilt lead to paranoia? Could those feelings of guilt and anxiety be God’s early warning system to keep us from experiencing deeper emotional issues? And what happens when we ignore those warnings?
Also read about God’s faithfulness in hard times and a biblical view of authority.
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Wickedness can lead to double-mindedness, fear, worry and what the world calls “paranoia.”
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines paranoia as “a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others.”
God gave each of us a conscience. Romans 2.14-15:
14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them).
And when we violate our consciences, we’ll experience guilt, anxiety and, at times, even paranoia. Not all guilt and anxiety are bad. Sometimes they’re God’s early warning system to keep us from hardening our hearts and doing things that can harm us or others.
But when we refuse to heed the warning behind those unpleasant emotions, they can morph into paranoia and a continued downward spiral of sin (Rom. 1.18-32).
When the city was defeated, Nebuchadnezzar gave orders that Jeremiah was not just to be spared, but to be given a ration and told he was free to go anywhere he wanted to go!
We get so concerned about how the economy or some political change will affect us. Instead of standing firm for truth in the face of adversity and evil, we compromise, worry, and put our trust in other gods, like government, to save us. Instead of voting for candidates who are morally right we vote our pocketbooks (who promises me the most?). We lie to get unemployment benefits. Or we compromise our values in the work place, the classroom and the marketplace. Continue reading →