Friday, March 13, 2009

Fret Not!

One of my favorite verses in Proverbs says, “Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil” (Proverbs 37:8). The New International Version of the Bible puts that even more succinctly. It says, “Do not fret—it leads only to evil.” And that is what happens. When we fret or stew or harbor negative thoughts about the truth, we create negative, evil feelings. We let in negative emotions which blind us to the positive things around us.

For example: Last fall I took a long walk along the Provo River. The October afternoon felt more like September. The sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky and reflected brilliantly from the golden maple trees. A gentle breeze stirred the air and rustled the leaves but not enough that the sound could be heard over the music of the river—instead they just glistened. About three-fourths of the way through my walk, however, I suddenly realized my mind had been so garbled with rehashing a meeting I’d been to the night before that I hadn’t noticed any of this. Stewing over what I should or shouldn’t have said at the meeting hadn’t accomplished one single positive thing, and because of it, I had missed a half hour of absolute beauty. Quickly I Anchored myself, changed what I was feeling, and enjoyed what was left of the walk.

“Fret not thyself!” is good advice.


Dave's Mom said...

I have been fretting lately about the declining morality in government. In Connecticut we recently had an outright attack on religious liberty introduced as a bill by two members of the general assembly. Thankfully the public outcry and the 5,000 people who showed up at the Capitol for a weekday protest helped convince the legislators that they needed to table the bill. But with the track record of these two, it will not be long before they will try something else, particularly if we become complacent about our liberties.

I have worried often about how much I need to be involved in government and in preventing the onslaught of moral decay in the world. The scriptures tell us that the world will become increasingly wicked before the Savior returns. Even still I don't think we should bury our heads in the sand, or pull our family in close beside us and withdraw from the world when we can still make an influence in the world by standing up for what we know is right.

However, at least for me, getting involved in this type of activity creates a lot of negative fretting in my life, which honestly does, as you say, remove some of the positive energy that I could otherwise feel.

I am searching for balance in such things. I feel naively blissful when I stay at home and read the scriptures and only talk to other like-minded God-fearing friends. But God needs us to be valiant warriors against Satan as well. The question still remains for me how best to battle Satan's influence in the world without being dragged down myself in the process.

Wendi said...

That is a beautiful picture and I appreciate this honest example of how anchoring really works. Thanks! :)

P.S. Good luck in finding that balance to the commenter above me. :)

Barb Elder said...

Perfect just what I need to hear as always. Thanks so much. Love ya.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Laura, It was so good to hear from you again. I think what is meant in the scriptures by "fret not" is not to let those things put you into a negative state. The Lord sorrows, but He doesn't despair or get depressed. We need to take action concerning things like what you brought up, but not let them destroy our hope or sink us into despair. You put your finger on it in your last sentence and that is what we are talking about here. Strategies to help us deal with telestial realities in celestial ways.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, Thanks. Anchoring does work.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Barb, Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the kind words. I miss you!