"Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life."
Galatians 6:7-8 (The Message)
I was lying in the dark next to my son trying to keep my stuffy nose a secret from him as I listened to what had been happening for several months to him at school. Silent tears were rolling out of the sides of my eyes and falling on the pillow underneath my head.
"And what happens when you get to the front of the kickball line?" I asked.
"Well, two of the boys come up and push me down and say, 'Chinese cuts! You're out. Get to the back of the line.'" he answered quietly in response to my question.
"And what do you do then, honey?"
"Well, I go to the back of the line and hope that maybe I will get a turn the next time..." his voice trailed off quietly.
How many of us can remember being the object of someone else's scorn? I can instantly be transported back to a school playground, hallway, or cafeteria along with memories I would like to forget, but remember perfectly so many years later. The tears can still sting my eyes if I dwell on those long-ago hurts.
Why do those memories remain crystal clear to this day, their sharp sting now replaced by a dull ache? I have found Scripture to be such an eye-opener for the reasons I react as I do. Scorn does something incredibly damaging to the one who is the intended receiver of it. This is what the psalmist said about scorn:
" Scorn has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none." Psalm 69:20 (NIV)
The dictionary defines scorn this way:
1. open or unqualified contempt; disdain
2. an object of derision or contempt.
3. a derisive or contemptuous action or speech.
–verb (used with object)
4. to treat or regard with contempt or disdain
5. to reject, refuse, or ignore with contempt or disdain–verb (used without object)
6. to mock; jeer.
May none of us who call ourselves Christ-followers be guilty of scorning someone else. The damages can be so far-reaching, the wound so slow to heal, and the repercussions so extensive. How do we scorn others? By showing favoritism, excluding others, and working against those we should be encouraging. Our God never does that, ever. And surely the quickest way to rob ourselves of His blessing is to participate in any of those behaviors against someone else.
Gossip, slander, and causing dissension cannot be part of our lives. We may think we are not accountable for those behaviors because we have not had the blessing of being caught and confronted in those behaviors. (Yes, blessing is exactly the word I intended to put in that sentence.) We cannot afford to be scorners of another. We are called to a crucified life and one that radically loves others. How else will those who don't know Christ see any reason to follow Him from our lives?
I have to think that God's fury is aroused against those who would deliberately crush someone else, especially when that crushing was unprovoked and undeserved. May that thought keep me humble before Him and make me choose not to speak or act unkindly towards another.
Jesus, may I not fool myself into thinking that I am not accountable for my actions. Let me understand that what I sow, You promise, I will surely reap in my life. Thank You for Your Word which convicts. Help me to be a wise woman and obey Your commands.