Are you fretting?

I have recently been reading Psalm 37. I’ve noticed the word “fret” used multiple times in this chapter so I’ve been thinking about what this word means. I know the word “worry” is used in other verses so I wondered why “fret” was used here. I looked it up online and found this as a few of the several definitions:

Fret: 1. to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent, or the like   2. to cause corrosion; gnaw into something  3. to make a way by gnawing, corrosion, wearing away, etc.

I’m familiar with the first definition but had not really thought about the others.

From these verses we can see that we are not to fret.
Psalm 37:1—“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong…”
Psalm 37:7—“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
Psalm 37:8—“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.”
Proverbs 24:18, 19—“Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.”

What I see from these verses is that we are not supposed to let the actions of others make us fretful. Sometimes things impact our personal lives and plans  because of other peoples’ choices and actions, and we have no control over that. We need to not let their actions (good or bad) cause us to fret because it will only lead to trouble for us. As the third definition of “fret” mentions, it will cause a wearing away or corrosion. I can see this happening if we continuously allow ourselves to fret over the things people around us are doing (or not doing).

Last week I received a card in the mail from my Secret Sister. On the front it had this quote:

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When I reread the card over the weekend, I thought the timing was perfect for a “surprise” we found out regarding my husband’s job on Friday. We were both left with a lot of questions and feeling out of control. I felt sad at first that he’d be gone to a training for the week plus be gone on my birthday. We’d already had plans together for that day, and then this randomly, unexpectedly came up. Once we found out more information though and prayed about it, we both felt more at peace. I could have become fretful about it and let it ruin my weekend. That would not have served any purpose though, and I am glad I did not do this. (And as a plus he found out this week he could come home Thursday night so he’d be home for my birthday today.)

How often do you fret about things in your life, wondering “what if’s” about the outcomes of events, imagining various scenarios, becoming angry because of what other people do, letting the words or actions of others eat away at you, etc.?  Whatever is thrown at you by others, remember not to fret. This is an area where I am still growing I realize as new situations come up!

Have a day of blessings!

3 thoughts on “Are you fretting?

  1. Marsha

    Thank you for defining fret, Bethany. I never really gave it much thought, but now I see there have been situations in my life where I’ve been guilty. Happy Birthday my sweet friend!

  2. Iris

    What a powerful message, Bethany. It is true, sometimes we fret about things that are out of our control.
    How neat that your beloved was still able to celebrate your birthday with you!

  3. Abby Breuklander

    Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t tell you how much I needed this today! Hope you have a very Happy Birthday!!! 🙂

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