Posted by: T. Boyd | November 3, 2017

The Cost of Scorning

Scar Tissue Develops

This morning, on our way to the eye doctor at Stony Point which we do every other Friday, I took our usual exit off the Powhite Parkway on to the Chippenham Parkway.  There are about 6 toll booth lanes that collect our fees, and we learned shortly after moving to Richmond that the EZ-Pass method was the best way to pay tolls.

Each of the lanes honor Ez-Pass, but also they are staffed for full service.  This morning, one lane was closed, and every other lane had a line of 2 or 3 cars waiting to pay.  Of course, the one I chose was being delayed – apparently the driver was not able to pay the 70 cent toll (maybe no small bills).  This happened to me once, so the procedure is that you sign an IOU to the toll company to pay it later.  Well, that was taking more than 1 or 2 minutes.

My wife was probably praying about me not getting upset.

I started being scornful of the design of the toll plaza, making it clear that someone made a poor decision not to designate at least one of the lanes as EZ-Pass only.

And then I caught myself – “I am complaining again.  I am sorry,” I said to Leslie.  She didn’t respond directly to that to that, but she told me that lately it was shown to her heart that there is a cost to the complainer when he scorns someone or something.  She said she feels like that adds to the scar tissue that surrounds our “heart” and makes it harder for the Spirit of God to speak to us.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 2.12.39 PM

This was right after she had read our daily Psalm, which was Psalm 123 today:

Psalm 123 English Standard Version

A Song of Ascents.

To you I lift up my eyes,

    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

Behold, as the eyes of servants

    look to the hand of their master,

as the eyes of a maidservant

    to the hand of her mistress,

so our eyes look to the Lord our God,

    till he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,

    for we have had more than enough of contempt.

Our soul has had more than enough

    of the scorn of those who are at ease,

    of the contempt of the proud.

I always thought that scripture was talking of the scorn shown by our enemies toward us, but I found, as Leslie shared her thoughts, that it also points to me – I am the one at ease, I am the one who is proud.

I am the one that has the “right” to complain because I see a better way of how things ought to be.  If they would just put me in control, then I could make it better, “make it great, again.”

My complaining, my scorning, helps no one; it does not bring change to the cause of the complaint.  All it does accomplish is add to the stoniness of my heart, the scar tissue that the Lord is busy removing by His power, by His determination to complete the good work that He has begun. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phillipians 1:6)

Lord, thank You for showing me this again.  You know how many times I have read the thoughts that align with this revelation.  For 30 years or so,  I have read Oswald Chambers in the daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.   On June 17, he writes:

It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

And on May 3, Chambers concludes:

Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to fault finding.

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