“Take away from me scorn and contempt,
for I have kept your testimonies.” Psalm 119.22
How do you deal with accusations, scorn, and contempt?
Here, the psalmist provides us a profound biblical example. His inclination in the face of scorn and contempt is to turn to God. Prayer is his strategy for protecting himself. Prayer must be our first choice in these times as well. We must not seek to vindicate ourselves. We must not seek revenge. Our instinct must not be stiffening our spine or lining up our arrows to return fire. Instead, we must fall to our knees in prayer, seeking deliverance from God.
Notice the psalmist’s plea is tied to an awareness of his own obedience. He calls to the Lord for deliverance, because he knows the attacks are unwarranted. The apostle Paul would defend his ministry in the New Testament in the same way, repeatedly stating that his conscience was clear. When we face attacks for sin, our response must be to repent and seek forgiveness. When we face attack for the sake of righteousness, our response must be prayer.
Scripture assures us that all who desire to live godly lives will face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). In such times, we must commit ourselves to faithful obedience and depend on the Lord for defense.
When you face such trial, how do you respond? Is your natural inclination to self-defense or prayer?
Lord God, in your great kindness lead us into righteous living, that we may walk in this world with a clear conscience. Deliver us from scorn and contempt, our refuge and sure defense. Amen.