“Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.*
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil…
Those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land…
and delight themselves in abundant peace…
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand…
[The righteous] is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.
Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
The Lord… will not forsake his saints…
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.” Psalm 37:1-9,11,23-24,26-28a,30-31
*Or and feed on faithfulness, or and find safe pasture
To fret not takes a deliberate turning to proceed in another direction, opening up a world of emotional and spiritual color. To befriend faithfulness takes intention and effort, and includes knowing what to invest in and what to set aside. As with any friendship, there are stages of introduction, familiarity, and rich knowing that uncover the beauties and bring forth the far-reaching benefits of such intimacy. Befriending faithfulness reaps great reward.
What does faithfulness look like in everyday living? A friend of faithfulness does not gossip, confessing a brother or sister’s sins behind their back, but holds its tongue, or says only what is useful for building up. It is faithful to serve willingly and cheerfully as needs arise, with kindness and compassion. It is faithful to pray for leaders, to encourage them with spiritual and practical support. Faithfulness at work means arriving promptly, doing that work heartily as unto the Lord, employing the mind, talent, and energy that God has entrusted to us. Faithfulness in our communities is consistent ordering of our lives under respectful authority and unselfishly toward our neighbor. In all things and everywhere it is to honor Him, prefer others, and contribute to the greater good. (Proverbs 11:12-13; Ephesians 4:11-16,29; 5:15-17; Philippians 2:3-4; Colossians 3:23; Romans 13:1-2; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Hebrews 10:24-25)
What and whom are we choosing to befriend? When and how do we delight in the Lord, and deliberately commit to Him our ways? How patiently do we wait, and consistently do we walk? How might we bless others today to spread the divine friendship?
If we are fretting- by comparison with others and worry over tomorrow- we’ve lost touch with faithfulness. They cannot coexist. Nurturing communion with our faithful God, and maintaining as faithful our hearts and hands according to His revealed will, not only guards us from the folly of fretting, but fills us to bear fruit for His glory. Which will it be?
Father, in every choice, may I befriend You and remain faithful to who You are in me and to all You have called me to be.