Contempt, a prayer of confession based on Mark 6

contempt painting by faun manne

Contempt Painting by Faun Manne

Mark 6:1-5, The rejection of Jesus
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.

Contempt is so painful
To be dismissed, disregarded
Questioning instead of dignity
Accusation instead of personhood

I have felt its sting and hollowness
As have you, my Jesus
Heal my wound

I have wielded this weapon fully conscious of its destructive power
You never have, my Jesus
Forgive me and heal all I have hurt

Make my ways like yours, my Jesus
Deliver me from a spirit of judgment, criticism, and contempt
Help me hear their needed messages
Help me see all as you see them, beloved, and needed
Especially those who are hard to love

I am most ashamed of aiming contempt at you, my Jesus
I am so very sorry
Forgive me, renew me, abide in me so there is
More of my true me
More of you and your ways
More of your grace extended through me
For the healing of the world

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Contempt, a prayer of confession © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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Quotes: Criticism

Escaping Criticism (1874) by Pere Borrell del Caso

No one ever hears positive internal voices. When you hear the voice in your head saying, ‘Who are you to do this? Who are you to do that?” Just know it comes from the accuser. God never asks you, “Who are you?” He knows exactly who you are.
– Jon Acuff

It is not the road ahead that wears you out — it is the grain of sand in your shoe.
Arabian proverb

Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. ~Aristotle

He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.- Abraham Lincoln

The more time you spend dwelling about what someone said, the less time you have to do something with it. – Lori Deschene

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.- Winston Churchill

Ephesians 4:29 (NRSV)
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth
without destroying his roots.- Frank A. Clark

I want to become more aware of my own interactions— both digital and face-to-face. I want to watch out for the ways that I contribute to a culture of incivility and polarization by the things that I say, the stories or images I share in social media, the anger, hatered, or cynicism that I harbor or nurture in my heart. I want to challenge myself to take the time and energy to look more deeply into an issue–or the eyes of another person—before I jump into judgment.
– Beth A. Richardson, “From the Editor,”
pages 4-5 in Alive Now, January/February 2013.

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