"Fret not thyself"

The writer of the thirty-seventh Psalm could not possibly have known to what a vast number of people in the world his assurance of God's goodness would bring comfort. There can hardly be one of the many millions of students of the Bible in the world during past centuries who has not many times turned to this Psalm for renewal of faith in the Lord. The sentiments have been set to music, and generations have listened to the comforting words, "O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, and He shall give thee thy heart's desires."

It is therefore worth while to take this single admonition of the Psalmist and consider its import: "Fret not thyself because of evildoers." The question is, Why should anyone allow his happiness to be corroded or worn away because he is either envious regarding evildoers or irritated over their temporary success? A verse in the King James Version of the Bible says, "Thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth;" but the version of the English Prayer Book brings out the clearer analogy, translating it "like as it were a moth fretting a garment." To fret is to eat into, corrode; to wear away, to chafe, to irritate. The mental state of fretting is a state of inward annoyance, irritation, perhaps resentment. It is harmful to the individual, disagreeable and hurtful to others. Therefore, the admonition should be continually remembered, "Fret not thyself."

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