Psalm 37:8 – “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”
It seems like these last few verses in Psalm 37 have been about getting your own way and your reaction to it. This one is no exception. Think that God is trying to teach us something?
“Cease from anger” – don’t get mad. Well, how crazy is that? Don’t get mad? It almost makes me mad just reading that the Bible tells me not to get mad! Am I right? It’s not easy to not get mad. People can be so foolish in their decisions and actions that it is hard not to get mad at them for their lack of forethought. It is hard not to get mad when you know that your child is smart and he/she refuses to check their math test. It is hard not to get mad when someone cuts you off in traffic. It is hard not to get mad when you are waiting at the doctor’s office for 45 minutes in that tiny little room with 2 small children. You feel like a caged lioness! But God is encouraging us here to not get upset. Let’s look at the next part.
“Forsake wrath” – that means make the choice not to get angry and retaliate. Now, I know what you are thinking – it’s their fault I get mad, not mine. But stop and truly look at it. You have a choice to get mad and retaliate or not. You can choose to let it roll off your back. Or you can choose to be a porcupine and let the situation get all caught up in your bristles. It’s a good analogy – are you a duck or a porcupine? Choosing to forsake wrath is hard. But remember, it is your attitude and response to the situation that will matter at the judgement seat.
“Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil” – this means “don’t get yourself all wound up and then do something that you will regret – like sin, big time”. Sometimes our anger can get the best of us and cause us to say or do I something that we will never be able to rectify. And that can hurt. It can hurt you and the other person involved. No good all the way around.
Worry and anger are dangerous tools of the devil. He uses them against us everyday. He causes us to forget our Savior and His sacrifice we just celebrated. But we choose to allow him this opportunity. We allow him to bring meanness into our thoughts. We allow him to show us ways to harm others. We choose. We allow. Those are tough things to face. And the only way to fight back is with your spiritual armor.
So today, princess, be on guard against times when “the evil one” is seeking to get you off track. Don’t let him steal your joy and talk you into anger and retaliation. It is an ugly path and a beautiful gem like yourself has better things to do than walk down an ugly path.