Have you ever felt the need to take a break from social media and national news? I think many of us know what that feels like. We read enough snarky comments, we see enough bad news, we digest enough nastiness that we just want to turn it all off. Too much focus on the news of things we feel powerless to change can drive us to distraction or even despair.
It is nice to see that God’s word has a reminder for us when we begin to worry because of wickedness.
19 Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
and be not envious of the wicked,
20 for the evil man has no future;
the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
Fret not. That is a good little sentence right there. Do not let yourself become fretful, worried, overwhelmed because of evil doers.
For some reason, I am here reminded of a silly movie that was, in one scene, presenting a spoof of a conservative news talk show called “Everything Stinks.” When we spend too much of our time digesting news of politics and national scandal, it is possible for us to feel like we belong as a host of “Everything Stinks.” But to do that eventually takes us to a place of despairing over the evil acts of evil people.
Verse 20 of the proverb reminds us that the evil person has no future. In the long run, whether in this life or in the age to come, the wicked person’s lamp will be put out by the judgment of God. God will deal with those who would mislead the church into heresy. And knowing that we serve an all-powerful God who is holy and just gives us hope. God will deal with those who would divide the nation based on skin color. God will deal with those who delight in the murder of the unborn. God will deal with those who hate his design. God is not going to be beaten.
Surely do not misunderstand me here. I do not propose that Christians ignore what is going on in the world abroad whether in the church or in politics. But we must not become so focused on those issues that we fret because of evil doers. WE must have appropriate checks that prevent us from allowing our souls to despair.
One such check is the one here in the Proverbs. Keep yourself from despair by remembering the sovereignty and justice of God. Those who hate the Lord and his ways have his judgment to face. God is not going to lose this battle. The Lord will be glorified. The name of the Lord will be praised from the rising of the sun to its setting. There is no corner of the globe over which the Lord will not rule. Set your hope and your mind there.
Another check that I will offer is to open your eyes to what the Lord is doing, not on the national political scene, but right in your own church and in your own family. We do not do one another good if all we do is share the latest Facebook post of all the horrors of Washington. Yes, we need to be informed. But we need even more to be informed about the way a friend’s child has learned to follow the word of God. We need to know about a sister in Christ who has a new job possibility. We need to know about a brother in Christ who is preparing to teach his first Sunday School class or preach is first sermon. We need to know about a couple that needs comfort because of a loss or another couple who is planning to get married. We need to let our minds and our hearts be filled with what the Lord is doing in the local body of Christ and not simply in the political swamps of DC.
Yes, know what is going on. Yes, be active. Yes, be sure that people know of the horrors of abortion and racism and abuse and all the rest. But play your role in the local church. Take part in investing in the lives of the people around you. And fret not because of evil doers, because the Lord will use his people to accomplish his will for his glory.