1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
By now, you have probably noticed that I talk a lot about relationships. How we relate to one another is important to God. Therefore it should be important to us. His instruction is thorough and covers every interpersonal scenario. Today, we will look at the bad people we encounter in our daily lives. Those who are evil. Those who do wrong.
The Psalmist tells us not to fret about these people who seem intent on making our lives miserable. That’s easier said than done, right? These annoying backstabbing ne’er-do-wells are in our families, in the workplace, in public places, and even in the church.
In the family, they gossip, spread lies about you, say hurtful things to you, and slight you.
At work, these evil doers lie, take credit for your good work while doing very little work of their own, and then have the audacity to criticize your job performance. To make matters worse, they’re the ones who get noticed and get the promotions you think you deserve.
Even in places of benevolence like volunteer or church work; there they are, stirring things up, making you want to leave and never go back.
And if you challenge them on their behavior, they’ll either deny any wrongdoing or make you feel like the bad guy.
Despite all of that, the Psalmist says, “Don’t fret… or be envious of those who do wrong.
My wife and I have had many discussions about this topic. I’ve concluded that as a boss and a pastor, I missed a lot of the ugliness in the trenches. Or maybe it’s because I’m a guy, and men are less attuned to malevolent behavior than women.
So why shouldn’t you fret when you’re in the middle of evil induced turmoil? Well, there are three areas to think about. First, is what God tells you to do about it. And secondly, is what God will do about it. And third: What you can expect from God.
(1) How God wants you to handle wrongdoing people.
- Trust in the Lord and do good (v3)-
Don’t allow your behavior to sink to their behavior. Trust the Lord to get you through it.
- Take delight in the Lord (v4)-
Don’t delight in payback, getting even, or malicious gossip. Make the joy of God and faithfulness to him your source of delight.
- Commit your way to the Lord (v5)-
Your loyalty is to God, His plan, and purpose for your life. As I’ve heard coaches tell players many times, “Keep your head in the game.”
(2) What God will do about the evil people around you.
- Like the grass they will soon whither, like green plants the will soon die away. (v2)-
Keep this picture in your mind. This is what happens to those who mess with God’s people. I never wish ill will or God’s vengeance on anyone. Leave that up to Him. But if you remain faithful, He will uphold your cause and vindicate you.
(3) What you can expect from God.
- You will dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. (v3b)-
You will experience peace where there is no peace, and joy where there is no joy. He will keep you safe. And remember this, just because something bad happens doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. It means He has something better. What seems like a step backward, can actually be a step forward. God is looking at a big picture that you can’t see. Just trust Him to keep His promises.
- He will give you the desires of your heart. (v4b)-
This doesn’t mean that he will give you anything you want. If that were true there would be a Porsche parked in my driveway. It means that when you are committed to God, the desires in your heart will have been placed there by God. When that happens, you are on the right track, and you WILL receive the desires of your heart.
- He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. (v6)-
This point needs no further explanation. What more could we ask for?
If you find yourself caught in the middle of a tumultuous relationship, where someone is treating you miserably, and they are clearly in the wrong; pray this scripture back to God. Believe it. Accept it. Trust God to bring Psalm 37:1-6 to pass in your life.
May God vindicate your cause. Amen.
For more on this topic, check out this article: A Roadblock Called Unforgiveness
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.