Injustice makes us angry. That’s okay, but we must be careful. Psalm 37:8 cautions us not to fuss so much about the evil we see that we become evildoers ourselves.
First, we see evil or injustice, and we begin to fret about it. It’s not fair that by doing evil things some people gain power and wealth. And what if that evil gets directed toward us? If we fret about it too much, we can begin to get angry. “Why doesn’t anyone stop them?” we cry. “We ought to put them in their place!” And if we stay angry, that can grow and become wrath. In wrath, we can be consumed by our anger. If we are not thinking straight and are not careful, we can fall into behavior that leads to evil.
A lot of research in past decades has shown that this kind of progression is behind a lot of criminal activity. Someone experiences injustice, and before you know it, they are acting unjustly too. Maybe at first they directed their evil at people who were hurting them. But it doesn’t always end there.
Though wrath may not always lead to criminal activity, it is destructive. Wrath can cause things like mocking, bullying, and other unjust activities as well.
The solution is to avoid even fretting about evil. God will provide justice, and he will provide for our needs as well. We might not be able to stop everyone else’s evil, but we can at least stop ourselves by resting patiently in God.
Dear God, help us to trust that you will provide justice fittingly in your time. Amen.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
15 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
5 A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
11 Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?
12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
16 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.
21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.
22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
25 The Lord will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.