I have tried (all too often unsuccessfully) to give up contempt for Lent. The journey over the last month and a half has revealed just how much contempt I have in my life-sometimes toward the oddest things and situations, ranging from my bank to people who don’t take a shower in the weeks before they get on a flight to disdain for harsh leaders.
Proverbs 11:12 tells us that those who despise their neighbor are void of wisdom and Proverbs 18:3 reminds us that when the wicked come, so does contempt. In other words contempt doesn’t just undermine our ability to walk in wisdom, but reveals we’re walking hand in hand with wickedness (ouch!).
Contempt’s friends include pride, arrogance, anger, bitterness, cynicism, sarcasm, impurity, and disrespect. If left unchecked, contempt can wreak havoc on so many areas of life-our relationships, our family, our churches, our workplaces, our nation, and our journeys with God. I have found all these things to be true during this season of Lent.
I find myself crying out with the Psalmist, “Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt” (Psalm 123:3).
But in this Holy Week, I’m reminded that Christ was no stranger to contempt. He was despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3). After piercing his skull with a crown of razor sharp thorns, they mocked him-a verbal expression of contempt-saying “Hail, King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:29). Jesus took the contempt, not only of those present at his death but for all people for all time who expressed contempt for Christ. Jesus took the contempt that I deserve from God for all my imperfections, wrongdoings, and shortcomings on Himself. In the wake of such love, more than ever, I want to live without contempt.
Entering this final week of Lent, I want continue to die in this area of my life and lay hold of the resurrection power of Christ to live without (or at least a lot less!) contempt in my life.
I pray as you approach Easter that you find Christ’s death and the power of His resurrection alive in your hearts and spirits in greater measure.
Looking forward to answering the refrain, He is Risen!, this Sunday.
What lessons are you taking away from this season of Lent?
**Photo courtesy of here.