Avoid scorn

October 18, 2017 | 34 comments

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful” Psalm 1:1, NKJV.

Have you ever sat “in the seat of the scornful?” It comes in the form of looking down on other people. Perhaps believing they are inferior to you, less capable, not worthy of their position or of your honor.

I can think of times when I warmed up for a tennis match in a tournament and thought about my opponent, “They aren’t so good. They are older or slower. I can beat them.” And then they blitzed me with adept skills I didn’t realize they possessed. My blind pride, or perhaps scorn, was justifiably rebuked.

I’ve learned to not judge according to outward appearances, and to never underestimate the player on the other side of the net.

The same rule applies to all our relations with people. It’s important to not judge them by their outward appearance, and especially to never consider oneself better than them, whether in the workplace, in social or family circles, in politics, or in the world at large.

One dictionary definition of scorn is, “contempt or disdain felt toward a person considered despicable or unworthy.” And a definition of contempt is, “The feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn.”

If we believe we are better than someone else, we are judging man to be mortal with inferior and superior qualities, including ourselves. In Christian Science, our prayer is to see God’s man reflecting the divine nature. It’s an entirely opposite point of view to entertain about our neighbor than the scornful attitude would adopt.

We can avoid sitting “in the seat of the scornful,” when our desire is to see God’s man right where our neighbor stands, rather than an imperfect mortal laden with shortcomings.

God did not create some people better than others. Avoid scorn, and be a shining example of Christly compassion that proves everyone is equally worthy of love.

34 thoughts on “Avoid scorn”

  1. Thank you Evan.
    After reading this message I examined my thinking and realised how often I was committing this offence.
    I honestly thought I loved everyone including our politicians.
    I am so grateful.

  2. The politician one is a very hard one right now in South Africa ~ I do need to correct my thinking on this, thank you for the reminder Evan ~

  3. Thank you Evan, great reminder. I agree with Nikki that politicians with whom we don’t agree are a challenge. I try to remind myself that they hold their views sincerely and have devoted themse!ves to public service, so are worthy of respect, as well as because they are a child of God. Plus, we can always be sure God is in control! Nevertheless a great nudge to do better, and fits really well with the JSH banner article today ‘ As We Forgive’. Blessings to all today.:)

  4. Thank you for this incite on scorn. I am humbly grateful to be alerted to how I have let this creep into my thinking.

  5. A synonym for scorn is disdain. I have never really understood what MBE means in her
    hymn O Gentle Presence: “make me glad for every scalding tear, for hope deferred, ingratitude
    disdain.” Does it mean learning from your mistakes? Any thoughts?

    1. This is a line I have often leaned on Patricia, especially scalding tears, which has disdain hot on its heels!
      Yes, I believe it is being grateful for the realisation of Love which comes from learning by our mistakes. I have made many and doubtless will make more. This blessed poem and Hymn is a favourite staff to lean on!

    2. Interesting question – to learn from my mistakes. What am I learning? For me it was once a growing fear that I was a bad person who was vulnerable to making mistakes, often without even knowing it, but nevertheless I was guilty and could expect to receive punishment and have all love revoked. However, my Christ has brought me glad tidings -“Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee” – and now learning is about gaining greater consciousness or awareness and conviction of the omnipresence of Good which, when we “reason together”, covers everything: there is no chance of evil (mistakes) in the omnipresence of Good; there is no chance of punishment (love revoked) in the omnipotence of Good; and there is no chance of not knowing in the omniscience of Good.

      I find myself saying “Ooops – turn right here” more often.

    3. It’s an interesting line, for sure! I see it as learning to put what God wants for us first, to trust in Her provision – learning from disappointment, when we don’t get what we want, or when we are unappreciated by others – the others being ungrateful, even disdainful of us.

      There’s an MBE line about, “by suffering or by Science;” the suffering teaches us to turn to God, to rely on God alone. It’s not that we’re making mistakes and being punished, it’s the result of not putting what God wants first. I believe the better we get at using Science, aligning our thoughts and desires with God’s, the less we suffer due to material circumstances. It’s a learning process.

    4. Being glad for every experience which helps us to get rid of material desires, hopes and aims.

      We can be glad for challenges because they make us grow spiritually. Loss of mortal pleasure or pain is always gain. To lose one’s reliance on matter is a gain spiritually.

    5. Patricia, I love this hymn. I think MBE is saying these things have no power. “For hope deferred” she then says “Wait.” And, for “ingratitude, disdain” she says later in the line “and love more for every hate.” And then she goes on to say why “and fear no ill,-since God is good, and loss is gain.” I think she is disarming these lies. Love wins. Why? Because no one wants to stay in a consciousness of ingratitude or disdain. It is uncomfortable – and it should be. It is natural to turn away from it back to love.

  6. good morning to all. Beautiful item today. I have enough to think about. It is very opportune to “shake the thought”. How many times without thinking or realizing we think as the article says about others and ourselves ?. We must work more as an archer and watch our thoughts more naturally. Thank you all and blessings.

  7. A well-timed message – caught me feeling smug and superior in the outcome of a recent conflict. Thanks for the great reminder!

  8. Right on target. A customer of mine, long ago, said “I think being judgemental is the worst sin on earth.” (She meant “judgemental” as a negative term.) I don’t recall what prompted the remark, but I can still see her making it. I am so grateful now for this wonderful and inspiring amplification of that message! Today it can be our exciting challenge to think of all we meet, see, read or hear about with Christ-taught compassion. Onward!

  9. Evan. Thank you. I am feeling that I a person has scornful thoughts directed to me. What approach would be effective so that being a target of scorn is disolved? Perhaps it is the same prayer… ‘to see God’s man reflecting the divine nature’. To know that ‘God did not create some people better than others’ and to pray that this person will come to understand that fact. (?)

    1. Hi Robin, I’ve worked on that too. My suggestion is to work on being secure in your identity as God’s perfect child! And, recognizing that others are, as well. You don’t have to be affected by by others’ thoughts or attitudes. By seeing yourself (and them too) as God’s beloved child, you can be secure in the knowledge that this is their problem, not yours. It cannot change the truth about you. “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.” – Science and Health,WKTTS, by Mary Baker Eddy p. 571

      1. Nice answer Ellen. It is true, that another’s scorn cannot become your suffering. And be sure not to send scorn back their way!

        Have no fear of it, but pray that they can live up to their God given identity of seeing the good in others, appreciate it, and value it.

  10. Big difference between condemnation for behavior and condemnation of person.
    We can never love bad behavior, cruel actions, but separating those from the real child of God
    gives us the impulse to love. Thanks, friends.

  11. Great wake up this morning. I was observed speaking aloud, with my husband in the car, scorning other drivers for poor driving, ie, not signaling to change lanes or not signaling before approaching a turn.

    Feedback from my husband was clear, ‘don’t judge others’. He reminded me that he’s heard this before from me.

    While our neighborhood is undergoing major road construction the temptation to observe driver’s habits and then speak out about how “bad” they are can be corrected. I can solve this by owning angel thoughts and reflecting love’s correction of the temptation, then staying close to God, while sharing the road with all God’s children. Guess my mistake is in thinking, “I’m” driving the car. Nope, God’s always the doer.

    1. Love that! When the temptation to judge comes, “lead me not into temptation.” Recognition of it as a problem in MY thought rather than a problem with others. That is something I can address! It releases the victim mindset, me at the mercy of others’ actions, and empowers me to correct the seeming problem. Thanks!

  12. Prayer that affirms “God’s man reflecting the divine nature,” as you stated so well Evan, is the way to go forth with faith each day. The light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world is always shining in Truth. Thanks for the reminder Evan.

    1. Thank you, Evan! Such a powerful wake-up that I came back for more today! 😀 I just checked out the article Shireen referenced. Wow!! Thank you, Shireen! Much love and encouragement to you all!

    2. Great article. I especially love the explanation of the vineyard parable, towards the end. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Boy, oh boy, did I need this today! I just now finished a little scuffle with a colleague at work and then sat down thinking how I’m so much smarter than her. Then I picked this up. Wow, so grateful for that message.

  14. Oh well, nobody knows h o w much I do need this today.

    Thank you Evan, for your caring for us to clean our conciousness from every false thinking! 🙂

  15. I love your message Evan. Thank you.
    I find everyone’s comment so helpful.
    Thank you all. This family is growing together.

  16. Wow! This is so relevant, right here, right now, in our country. It was a real wake up call for me. Thank you.

  17. I didn’t get to read this yesterday (10/18), but what a wake-up call. Thank you all for your comments and for the reminder to see others correctly, even when you seem to be the target. Loving as God loves is the answer, for sure, and separating the behavior from the person, seeing that it is not their true nature. Thanks.

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