Pour contempt on all my pride

Pride is an issue I struggle with – so when I read Psalm 123 today and thought about the word “contempt” I knew I needed to explore the lyrics from “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless
Your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

“Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us,
   for we have endured no end of contempt.” Psalm 123:3 NIV

“Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on and loving-kindness for us, for we are exceedingly satiated with contempt.” Psalm 123:3 AMP

I know the Psalmist is talking about those who have contempt for those who follow God – and that fits me as well.  But I think the word contempt is what I have to ponder – as it pertains to me and my life.

When others have contempt for our faith, the Psalmist reminds us to call upon the Lord, on His loving kindness and mercy, for the strength to face the contempt.  But what about the contempt we feel for ourselves?  It is good to have contempt for the sinful things I do, for the pride, for the lack of discipline, for the independence, for the procrastination — I should hate sin as the Lord hates sin.  What about when I feel disappointed in myself?  What about how I feel when I make a mistake, take the wrong road, do everything but that which needs to be done?

I think the answer is the same – to go to the Lord and ask for strength.  Contempt is really a call for strength – to do the right thing, to think the right way, to follow the right path.  If I make a mistake, I don’t need to keep making the mistake over and over.  I can stop, pause, think, pray and take the next step in the right direction.

For food and eating issues, this is a thought process I need to embrace and remember.  I need to constantly come to the Lord, die to self and find that I can truly live!

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