There are three times in Psalm 37 where we are told that we should not play the guitar. This statement is supported by the three words found in verses 1, 7, and 8: Do not fret.
If you notice the diagramed picture of the guitar, you can see that frets are an important part of a guitar. To be a skilled guitar player, the musician finds fretting to be an essential.
Well, I guess it’s time to let the guitar-players off the hook. The fret on a guitar is a noun, and the word “fret” as used in this Psalm is a verb.
Fretting, as used in Psalm 37, is the idea of a smoldering worry or anger that becomes a consuming blaze. You probably know someone who frets over most decisions or every item of life in general. They are consumed by anxious attitudes and worry.
In this Psalm, David gives Five Facts to Free us from Fretting:
Fact #1: Trust in the Lord, and do good” (Psalm 37:3). This is a heads and tails coin-like approach: Heads is the intellectual side of the coin that involves trust (Psalm 118:8-9). The flip-side of the coin is tails and it is the practical aspect of doing good (Romans 12:21).
Remember this as TRUSTING and TASKING. The trusting is an attitude and the tasking is an action. The moments of worry are managed by the movements of your heart, hands, and feet as you do begin the task of doing good.
Fact#2: “Delight thyself also in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4). It is impossible to be a delight-er and a fright-er at the same time. The idea in the Hebrew is to pamper yourself in God, and this accomplished by polishing the heart with the principles of God’s word (Matthew 6:33).
Fact #3: “Commit thy way unto the Lord” (Psalm 37:5). This is the decision to “choose the way of truth (Psalm 119:30-33).” To follow this thought, contrast the commitment of Demas in Colossians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:10.
Fact #4: “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7). The prophet Zechariah captured the meaning of this when he said: “Let all people be silent before the Lord, for He is coming from His holy dwelling (Zechariah 2:13).” Focus your thoughts on the majestic power of God and not on the circumstances of life.
Fact #5: “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath” (Psalm 37:8). The idea is to turn from the burn. Make the conscious decision to focus your attention on something else.
As I’ve said before, I like to read The Message for its devotional value. Notice how it phrases this verse: “Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse. Before long the crooks will be bankrupt; God-investors will soon own the store.”
You can grasp the principles of Psalm 37 by becoming verb-conscious and embracing the relationship as seen in the graphic to the left.