As Christians, we know we aren’t supposed to be anxious or worried about anything. However, Scripture also specifically tells us to be concerned for those around us and bear the burdens of others.

Is there really a difference between worry and concern? If so, where is the line?

Dr. Winfred Neely explains what the Bible says about the different between worry and concern.

“We should care, we should be concerned. If we are having financial struggles, we don’t have to worry about that, but we should be concerned. If our children are not well, we don’t have to worry, but we should be concerned. As God’s people, we are to be deeply concerned. Healthy care and concern is one of the hallmarks of healthy church life.”

What makes worry worse than concern?

“Worry is concern that is separated from the grace, power, love, and wisdom of God. It’s concern that we address in our own strength. It’s concern that we handle by thinking that we are facing life alone and we have to deal with our problems alone without God’s help.”

Dr. Neely says that this is what Paul meant when he wrote in Philippians 4:6-7 that we should be anxious for nothing.

“He’s not telling us that we shouldn’t be concerned. He is telling us that there isn’t anything in life for which we are to worry.”

According to Dr. Neely, turning from worry is a daily battle.

“Just the other day I was telling someone about something I was worrying about that very morning. I had to recognize that I was worried and tell myself to stop. I don’t think we will ever be exempt from the experience of worry this side of heaven, it is a part of the human condition. However, Scripture says we can conquer and overcome it by dealing with it biblically.”


Dr. Winfred Neely is a professor of hermeneutics, homiletics, and pastoral studies at Moody Bible Institute of Chicago and serves as Senior Pastor of Judson Baptist Church in Oak Park, Illinois. He brings a global perspective to his ministry, having served as a missionary/pastor in Senegal, West Africa for nine years.

Key Scripture: 1 Peter 5:6

Featured Songs: Take Courage – Bethel Music; God, I Look to You – Bethel Music; The War is Over – Bethel Music

The important difference between worry and concern

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