Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The contempt of those at ease: Job 12:5

"He who is at ease holds calamity in contempt, as prepared for those whose feet slip." (Job 12:5)
This scripture has become a very important scripture to me. It has caused be to rethink how I look and judge the misfortunes of others. In the midst of calamity, we are often so consumed with our own suffering, that it is hard to consider the suffering of others. When we are at ease, it is easy to have contempt for the suffering of others. It is easy to look at the misfortunes of others and think, "they deserve it", "it's there fault", "why can't they just get over it", or "it could never happen to me". When we are at ease, it is hard for us to put ourselves in the place of people who are suffering and to identify with their pain and to muster genuine concern for them. This scripture has caused me to pause and to judge my own motives and to see if my judgements of others are coming out of a heart of contempt, rather than a heart of compassion.

I have found, in my own experience, that at times when I am experiencing difficulty in my life, it is often hard to find someone who understands. This scripture reminds me not to judge them too severely, for after all, I too am subject to the same temptation and might judge another wrongly if the situation was reversed. One fact that does bring me encouragement in those times is that, even if no one else understands, there is one who does. "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10) Even if no one else understands, Jesus does. God became a man and dwelt among us and experienced the same suffering that we experience in this life. Jesus not only knows the pain that we are experiencing, but He is also interceding with the Father on our behalf. When others hold us in contempt, we can always find comfort in the Lord.

David Robison

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