Well, my baby is overdue and so I’ve got some extra time on my hands. I decided to revisit my much neglected blog by writing a post that has been on my heart for many months now. We’ve all had to deal with scorning in one way or another at some point in our lives, and let me just say, that none of the advice here is original. I’ve been so blessed to learn these things from seeking wisdom and counsel from several godly older mentors on this subject throughout the years, and this post is just a culmination of their advice that I’ve desired to compile and share for quite some time.
First of all, what is the definition of a scorner or what does the term scorning mean? According to Webster’s Dictionary scorning means: to show that you think (someone or something) is not worthy of respect or approval: to feel or express scorn for (someone or something)
: to refuse or reject (someone or something that you do not think is worthy of respect or approval)
: harsh criticism that shows a lack of respect or approval for someone or something
Some antonyms of the word “scorn” are honor, respect, accept and approve. A scorner is someone with a critical spirit and an excessively negative attitude. No matter what you do or how hard you try this person will never be happy. They refuse to look for the good and instead thrive on finding as many things wrong as they possibly can with people or situations. Many times they don’t even realize they are scorning. By focusing on all the little things that are wrong (which are always easy to find on this side of heaven) they miss the big picture and blessing of how the Lord is working in lives and situations.
Psalm 1:1 says: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
If you want to be blessed, do not sit in the seat of the scornful. Don’t allow yourself to sit in that seat or stay there. The habit of scorning can easily and quickly become a lasting pattern. It is a dangerous place to sit in because Proverbs 3:34 says: “Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.” Who would want God to scorn them? The Bible has a lot to say about scorning. Proverbs 22:10 goes on to say: “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” And Proverbs 14:6 says: “A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.” If we want wisdom and knowledge, we need to be an understanding people and shun any scornful thoughts or words.
Saul, the first king of Israel, was a scorner. He is very sharp contrast to Daniel, who the Bible says had an excellent (or a positive spirit) in him. Which of these two people would you rather spend the day with? Who are you? Who am I? Who are you striving to be like in your own life? We have to be intentional about this because our human nature is to follow in the way of Saul. We all have a little bit of Saul in our hearts.
So below is some of the wisdom that has been shared with me and has helped me so greatly:
- Make sure you have a thankful heart. The mark of the people in Romans 1 was ingratitude. Make sure your heart is right with the Lord and continually praising Him so you don’t fall into the trap of scorning yourself.
- Put yourself around thankful people who will draw you closer to the Lord Jesus. If you are always around people who have critical spirits and think that they have it all figured out, it will dry you up. Choose wisely who you will spend your time with. We must guard our hearts and our time against someone who is scornful because it will heavily drain us. Someone can come and pour out negativity for an hour and after that hour, they are done and have moved on, but the things shared can affect you, your life and thoughts for days and weeks. It also can have an effect on the people around you, not just one person. You must stay guarded against this kind of negativity because it will hinder the work for Christ’s Kingdom.
- If you can’t lead the conversation in things of edification then you just have to stay guarded or move on.
- Don’t take the criticism personally. It is not you, a scorner would find fault with Jesus if He was walking among us.
- Ask the Lord for special grace to overlook transgressions. Proverbs 19:11 says: “…it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”
- If you have been offended by negativity or criticism, write down your thoughts and hurts so that you can put them out of your mind and stop mulling over them. Running them over in your mind is allowing the hurts to control you, so lay them aside by writing them down and if God opens up an opportunity later, you can share the offence, without rehearsing it your mind a hundred times until then.
- Pray for those who have hurt and scorned you. Ask God to bless them, pray for them, if they come to your mind, instead of thinking of all the ways you’ve been hurt, immediately start praying for them. There is such power in prayer and it is so healing to pray for those who have caused you pain. This will help guard you from turning around and criticizing or scorning the very person who is scorning you. It is such an easy trap to fall into and the only thing it will accomplish is bitterness.
- Always strive to put yourself in other people’s shoes. You can still protect yourself, be guarded and do this. Ask God for a heart of compassion for the person who is scorning.
- Remember how much you’ve been forgiven and extend that same forgiveness from Christ to the person who has offended you. If you stop that flow of forgiveness, you will become bitter.
- Hurting people hurt others. Realize that the person scorning you is probably hurting. You can break the cycle by asking yourself, am I hurting? Take your hurts to Jesus and lay them at His feet. Do not retaliate hurts, but instead show love and mercy.
These tips have made such a difference in my life and have helped me overcome feelings of bitterness that were springing up in my soul. I hope they can help someone else in some way. We serve an mighty God who is willing to help change any heart who is hurting and in need of help.