“Do not fret”. Psalm 37:1 NIV
It is easier said than done.
The original Hebrew word here for “fret“ is “charah” and it means to kindle oneself with a spark of anxiety or worry, whip it up into an inner frenzy and feed it facts or wonderings until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot like the oil fires in the desert.
The picture is one who burns until they are charred.
That is what fretting will do to you.
The King James Version says, “Fret not thyself” which reminds that no one can get me to fret but me. I do it to myself. It’s not God or others that do it – I do it.
Do not fret.
It is a command, not a suggestion.
It doesn’t help your situation or your heart. It doesn’t halt, change or stop things from happening. Fretting and incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude.
It is not your job.
The rest of the verse tells us that it’s God’s job to deal with what other people are doing. He is good at it. He knows what is happening. He sees what is going on. Let the Lord worry about what others do or don’t do.
Let God be God.
You do you.
What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety?
Douse it with the Word and have your favorite verse handy to pour all over it.
One of my favorites is simple but powerful in the face of a good fret:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Romans 12:12 NIV
The word “affliction” essentially means “pressure”.
My friend, when the pressure is on, spend your energy pursuing hope. Don’t quit when things get hard. If you must work on something, work on keeping your heart open and filled with the wonder and expanse of God’s love.
Center yourself in Christ.
Focus on God’s goodness instead of other people’s choices.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and do what he has given you to do today.
Do. Not. Fret.