Confuse concern with anxiety?

By Dave Henning / September 25, 2021

“We must be careful not to confuse concern with anxiety.  It is normal for a Christian to have deep concerns.  Concern motivates us to intercede and to take godly actions toward meeting the needs of others.  Concern, yes!  Anxiety, no! . . .  Concern involves wanting to see things done well so that God receives the glory from our lives.”- Dr. Charles F. Stanley

“Do not worry about your life. . . .”- Matthew 6:25 (NKJV)

Moving ahead to Chapter 11 (“Giving Up Anxiety”) of Can You Still Trust God?, Dr. Charles Stanley discusses the topic of anxiety.  Most significantly, Dr. Stanley observes, anxiety begins in our emotions, not our minds.  Thus, anxiety forms in response to something we perceive as negative.  Or, more specifically, something we view as an attack upon us.

Furthermore, the author notes, the Greek word for anxious (worry) in Matthew 6:25 means ‘distracted.’  Hence, anxiety produces a feeling of uncertainty – of what’s next.

However, Dr. Stanley cautions, we must not confuse concern with anxiety.  Because concern is rooted in obedience and a desire to see things done well so God receives all the glory.  Hence, Dr. Stanley contrasts concern and anxiety.


  • productive, forward-looking, and positive
  • motivates us to take action
  • marked by tears, expressions of sorrow, sympathy, empathy, thoughtful reflection, and quiet time for meditation
  • leads us to make decisions


  • counterproductive, stuck in the present, negative
  • paralyzes us
  • marked by hand-wringing, uncontrollable crying, deeply furrowed brows and slumped shoulders, sleepless nights, nervous twitches, and endless pacing
  • treadmill keeping us in a state of fear and negativity – and without peace

In conclusion, Dr. Stanley underscores, the ball’s in your court.  Therefore, you can fall into the downward spiral of anxiety.  Or you can bring your anxiety to your heavenly Father.  Above all, as you follow the way of peace, you take the road out of anxiety and worry.

Today’s question: When do you tend to confuse concern with anxiety?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The issues that entangle us”

About the author

Dave Henning

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