Is it a sin to be nervous?
by Luke Joshua Davis
We've all felt it. Butterflies in your tummy, feeling like your going to get sick, irrational behavior, all at the times you need to be most calm. We all get nervous at times. Some people get more nervous than others, and we all get nervous for different reasons over different things.
I can speak in front of hundreds of people without a butterfly. I can face the knowledge of impending pain without a flinch. Let an attractive, Christian girl walk into the room and I begin get anxious. Make me talk to that girl and I feel like I'm going to puke. I would rather face certain death than ask her out. Once when trying to ask a girl out I almost fainted! I got tunnel vision and I had to grab onto something!
This is all silliness of course. I've asked dozens of girls out on dates, and I'm still alive. I have no rational reason to be so nervous, but it is a real feeling. A very destructive feeling that hinders me from doing what needs to be done. I can not help but wonder, "Am I displeasing God with my nervousness?"
I could not find any scripture that directly addresses nervousness. If you know of any please feel free to e-mail me. This leads me to dig deeper. Why do people get nervous? I believe there are two basic causes of nervousness.
The first is excitement. This one isn't too bad. Before I counsel a child who came forward to be saved I get a little nervous. I'm excited that I get the privilege to show them the way. Excited nervousness has never prevented me from doing anything.
The second cause of nervousness is fear. Before I take a girl out on a date I am filled with a terrible sense of dread. I can only think of all the ways I might make a fool out of myself and all the ways I've made a fool out of myself in the past. I'm so scared of messing up that it sabotages my date. Needless to say, I'm really bad at dating. Unbelievably bad. Interestingly, I feel the same thing before I witness to someone. Fear nervousness has prevented me from doing a lot of good in the past.
Is my nervousness an outward personification of my lack of faith in God? Surely if I truly believed that God was in control I would not worry about things so much. Perhaps my priorities are wrong. Why is a date such a big deal that it can destroy my personality? Shouldn't I be more nervous about how God sees me than how a girl sees me? Maybe Satan is influencing me to be nervous. Perhaps it is a big deal and he wants me to fail. Can an emotion I have little to no control over truly be a sin?
I think so. But I'll let you come to your own conclusion.
You can e-mail Luke Joshua Davis at email@example.com