The other day, while perusing through Facebook, I came across an associate of mine sharing an article from a website. It looked like a Christ-driven website, so I clicked it—because hey, I love hearing and sharing in Jesus’ works and testimony just as much as the next brother and sister.
What I read though, quite perplexed me and actually shocked me quite a bit. Frankly, it gave me that feeling of the “tinglies” in my head—that feeling where I want to be stirred to anger, but the Spirit tells me to know better. Straight up, I wanted to post a rebuking statement to said associate’s wall and release all the anger. “GO GET EM’!” My head was screaming as it got hotter and hotter.
Instead, I heard God tell me another direction: just give it a day and reflect in grace.
Luckily, I listened.
It’s 2017. As believers in Christ, we face more unique challenges spiritually today than ten, even twenty years ago in my opinion. There are social issues that need to be—or at least should be—addressed, people splitting from the Church, and what I want to talk about today: the friction between people who profess to be within the body itself. All of which are hard pills to swallow; and it’s no wonder my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ want to either wholly ignore these things, or put their blinders on to make things easier to digest in terms of world-view. It’s freaking tough being a man or woman that believes in Jesus Christ these days, no doubt!
I want to bring to light a word that I very rarely use, but we all kind of hear in “legal-ese” a lot. Contempt.
Merriam-Webster defines it as:
“a : the act of despising : the state of mind of one who despises : disdain glared at him in contempt
b : lack of respect or reverence for something acting with contempt for public safety”
Yeah, that’s definitely a horse-pill going down all of our throats. Contempt is a heavy word, right? Right. It’s basically a word that means you aren’t showing respect to someone or something, or you hate/absolutely detest/severely dislike someone or something for one reason or another. I can feel the love already.
So when you glanced at the title of this write-up, you might have wondered, “What does contempt have to do with righteousness? Those are two completely separate things.” And you’d be right, in terms of definition. Curiously though, what I’m observing a lot of—and it breaks my heart—is a development of some seriously harsh contempt against people and ideals within the same professed faith (God, Christianity) in the search for proving to oneself that they are, in fact, righteous.
Sometimes I wonder if we confuse these verses in James 5:
“19My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (NIV)
We want to be righteous, and do the right thing; we want to bring the brother or sister back and not only save them from death, but be a powerful servant of God. So naturally we tell them what we think is “wrong”, go online and write super judgmental articles and contemptuous things, because “Hey, I’m saving lives.”
But we forget the passages prior, like James 5:9,
“9Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” (NIV)
Or Galatians 5:13-15,
“13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”(NIV)
Let’s take a moment and reflect on these passages, and their contexts going forward. Yes, it is undeniably tough these days being a Christian. The truth is, we all fight our flesh equally; we all have our vices that keep us from arriving at the feet of Jesus himself 100% clean and sinless. Chiefly because we’re all sinners and all human, both of which are distinctly less perfect than God!
While we take our steps of faith, get in The Word, and try our best to live the life Jesus has called us to live, let’s remember these powerful words found in Romans 14:
“14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” (NIV)
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach
Opinions? Thoughts? I would love to hear them! Feel free to comment below and thanks for reading!