Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any wise to do evil.
I. IT IS A SIN AGAINST GOD. Caesar having prepared a sumptuous feast for his nobles and friends, the day appointed for it proved so inclement, that all went wrong. He was so much out of temper on this account, that he commanded all who had bows to shoot their arrows upward toward Jupiter, their chief god, as being the cause of their disappointment. The silly order was obeyed, but the arrows, instead of striking the mark aimed at, fell back with violence on their own heads. Thus, also, the inconsiderate complaints of the fretful are, in fact, arrows shot in defiance against the majesty of God, but certain to hurt none but those who send them.
II. IT IS SURE TO DESTROY AFFECTION, AND IS THE BANE OF DOMESTIC HAPPINESS. Husbands, wives, children, relatives, or servants have little real love for the fretful and the fault-finding.
III. IT OFTENTIMES ENCOURAGES AND CULTIVATES A SPIRIT OF HYPOCRISY in those who are brought under its baneful influence. Everybody is afraid of arousing the unhappy disposition and calling down the tempest on their own heads. Hence children and servants get into the habit of concealing all they possibly can from those who are so little disposed to make allowance and go forgive. They cannot get up their courage to be frank and open-hearted, and deceit and falsehood are the consequence. Fretfulness is always foolish; always a thing to be sorry for and ashamed of. Bitterness, harshness, and fault-finding are the offspring of it — and these are no agreeable inmates of the soul. However uncomfortable and hard our lot may be, it certainly will not make matters better to be sour with the world, and crusty and crabbed to those about us.
(John W. Norton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.