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Re-Vamping Our Summer Wardrobe
Posted by Barbara Smith (BWSmith)
This message was originally posted on
Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web
http://www.chfweb.com/


Letting Go of Your Worry Beads
"Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret-- it leads only to evil."
- Psalm 37:8

My husband Doug and I were great "fretters" when we became Christians. He fretted about politics, money and the future; I fretted about the family, housework and the past. We brought these old habits into our new Christian lives. We continued to worry about the majors and the minutiae — and didn't even know that we were fretting until a friend of ours encouraged Doug to read Psalm 37.

Doug told me about the experience and we have used Psalm 37 to let go of our worry beads. Doug was with our friend Paul and remarking about the sorry decline of this or that in our culture. Paul responded, "You should read Psalm 37: ‘Fret not because of evil-doers . . . '"

When Doug got home, he read Psalm 37. In the New American Standard Bible it begins like this: "Do not fret because of evil-doers. Do not be envious toward wrong doers, For they will wither quickly like the grass, and fade like the green herb." Doug remembers, "I was floored. I always thought I was supposed to complain about evil. Now God was telling me not to complain and be eaten up by it. He wants me to ‘trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.' This opened a new window in my life, and I have used Psalm 37 often and gotten a new direction."

It is easy to understand why God commands His people, "Do not fret," by looking at the damage done by fretting. Obeying the command, however, is as demanding as learning to live without breathing! When we fret, we contradict the apostle Paul and declare man has invented an ordeal that is beyond the Lord's ability to rescue. (Romans 8:38-39) Remember, Paul did not tell believers to be sure and wear their worry beads when they dressed for battle. (Eph. 6:10-17)

The English word "fret" is very expressive, though rarely used these days. The Oxford dictionary says "fret"means to gnaw, consume, torture or carry away; to become eaten, corroded, or worn; to decay. In the context of human conduct, it means to distress oneself with constant regret of discontent; to chafe, worry. Christ wondered why any of His disciples bothered. "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (Luke 12:25-26)

Worry is questioning God's memory; it is believing God can't remember His promises. Fretting gnaws at the knowledge of God we have and corrodes the faith of those with whom we live. It is the antithesis of joyful submission to circumstances and it is something we are tempted to do when nothing is working out the way we planned.

Choosing to fret never changes any worrisome predicaments and only gives the illusion of doing something to solve problems. Fretting generates inappropriate responses to the troubles that are tormenting us because it expands as we indulge it to crowd out prayer. Which of the following problems will improve by indulging these fears?

"My child just can't understand fractions — or grammar — or history."

"We will never get enough money to pay for _______."

"Now the whole day is shot!"

"I will never get this done in time."

Why do we fret about today's failures, when God tells us repeatedly in Scripture that He does not forget His promises? "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." (Jer. 29:11-12)

The habit of fretting is hard to surrender to God, but He has given us a plan of action.

  1. Pray before you plan the lessons and before you start the lessons. If you need to, stop and pray in the middle of math or grammar.
  2. Confess you have been foolish with God's resources and ask Him to help you and your family become wise stewards of His provisions.
  3. Don't begrudge the interruptions or choices that have taken up precious time; rejoice in the time before you to accomplish what God has called you to do.
  4. Do the very next thing, because if God called you to a task, He will see to it that it is completed. (Phil. 2:13)

Someone showed both Doug and me to close our mouths, silence our fears, and act on what we know about God. You can show someone that you believe and rely on God, and his providence, his promise, his grace by doing, because you know — like King David did — that God is real. "Trust in the Lord and do good." Then with diligent care, serve Him and your generation, instead of fretting about it. (Paraphrased from Matthew Henry's Commentary Upon the Whole Bible)


Taken from:
Growing Up Homeschooling,
(or learning what we wanted the kids to take to heart)

Due Summer, 1998
Pre-publication order from:
Third Floor Publishing
PO Box 827
Arnold, MD 21012
$8.95 plus 3.00 postage (Maryland residents add 5% MD sales tax)


© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
Please contact Barbara Smith at workbook@toad.net before reprinting any of Barbara's messages. These messages are taken straight from the chfweb.com Message Board and Barbara may want to check them over for publication. Please include, in the body of your message, which message you are interested in reprinting.

Please send a copy of the publication to:
Third Floor Publishing
PO Box 827
Arnold, MD 21012

We hope our thoughts encourage you in the Lord Jesus Christ who has enabled us to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could have asked or imagined -- please let us know what YOU think. E-mail us at workbook@toad.net. (Please don't forget to include your e-mail address with in the body of the message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient e-mail addresses.)




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"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul ..."
Hebrews 6:19

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