Prayer, Plain and Simple

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. (Romans 14:10)


Contempt is now a fixture in the landscape of our culture, our politics, our families, sometimes even our churches. Somehow we have developed the notion that it is okay to have contempt for people. Our patience has come to an end for certain individuals; they have wronged us too many times, disappointed us over and over again. We have earned the right to shun them, ignore them, roll our eyeballs, slander them subtlety, and, in general, just write them off.

When is this okay?

If you’re living life by your own rules, then there isn’t a right or wrong answer. If, however, you are living your life by Jesus’s example and the principles He laid out, contempt isn’t optional.

It’s true that Jesus rebuked the religious leaders who were in it for themselves, but in the end He issued absolute forgiveness, saying, “They don’t know what they’re doing.” Besides, He’s God, and you are not. He is the Judge (even though He didn’t come to condemn us). You aren’t the judge.

Do you have people in your life that irritate you to the core? They haven’t learned the art of self-awareness, and they have rubbed you wrong time and again? Do you have a right to hold them in contempt?

Look at the dictionary definition of contempt:

contempt |kənˈtem(p)t|
the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn

Is there anyone in your life to whom this applies? Contempt is the result of your judgement call upon the value of another person, and God calls that wrong. He explicitly calls us on the carpet for such judgement.

Let’s get behind His Word, examine our hearts and motives, and ask ourselves the tough question: who am I holding in contempt? Then we are going to let it go with this plain and simple prayer…


Forgive me for judging and holding in contempt this person in my life. I have slandered them and used tones of subtle disgust when I talk about them. I have cherished and petted this hatred in my soul, thinking I am entitled to it. It’s true they have certainly not made my life better, but whatever the root cause, I give it to You.

After all, You have made my life better. What else do I ultimately need? Nothing! No one!

I receive Your forgiveness for my sin of judgement. Wash me clean. This is as disgusting as their sin against me!

And please give me Your heart for this soul. Help me understand why they act like they do and replace my contempt with compassion. Give me kind eyes towards them and a warm word when one is called for. You may not make them my new best friend, but You will change my heart to look more and more like Yours. I receive Your love now poured out through the Holy Spirit into my heart.

You’ve promised to make me triumphant in trials, and I am expecting Your constant help.

In Jesus’ Name


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