In case you were wondering, I'm writing this because I need to hear it. Again.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful ." (Ps 1:1)
If you take this verse at face value, it contains some pretty interesting insights. There are three groups mentioned, and all of these three groups has something. The ungodly have a "counsel", the sinners have a "way", and the scorners have a "seat". Say what you will about sinners, at least they appear to be in motion according to this verse, at least they are on their way to someplace even if its someplace bad. The scorners on the other hand, are sitting down, going nowhere, watching everybody else wander by, and criticizing them.
Without fail in public ministry, somebody will come along and say to us "I'm a Christian, but.." What follows next will be a criticism if what were doing or how we're doing it. We are told we're hateful and mean and judgmental or stupid, all of this by people who aren't being a witness. Depending on my mood, I sometimes ask them "So what are you doing?" I have never once in almost two decades have someone criticizing us tell me about the great biblical ministry that they are involved in. I have never once had a missionary on deputation or a pastor of a Bible preaching church or a Sunday school teacher or a song leader try to correct me. It has always been those who are out of church or are in some non-biblical foolishness. It is always those who are doing nothing that have the most to say.
Scorning requires almost no effort, it costs you nothing, and it keeps the eyes off of you. That's why it's usually done by those who are busy doing nothing. Psalm 123 :4 says
"Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud ." Scorning is the work of the lazy, and the proud, and the contentious. It is absolutely the easiest thing to do, and the easiest way to be. Just as your body will naturally find a way to "cheat' during a work out and take the path of least resistance, your human nature will , if you're not careful, fall into the seat of the scornful because it is both easy and natural.
You may say "well I just think..". No, actually, you don't. If you are being scornful you aren't thinking because thinking is work. Thinking requires effort. Thinking requires considering all the facts, not just the ones you select. I was in a pet store once that had two parrots at opposite ends of the room. The two parrots were yapping back and forth at each other, and somebody said "Isn't that cute? They're talking to each other!" They weren't talking to each other; they were making a noise that sort of sounded like talking. They weren't actually communicating. They were repeating something they had heard, but there was no thought was behind it. If you're a scorner, you may have a noise in your head that sort of sounds like thinking, but it isn't; it's scorning.
The other problem with scorners is that they are unteachable. The Bible says "A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke." and that "A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise." You cannot teach a man who will not listen, and you cannot teach a man who already knows everything.
Scorners also cause trouble. Proverbs 22 says
"Cast out the scorner , and contention shall go out ; yea, strife and reproach shall cease ." If there is strife and contention at your church, or at your home, and you're a scorner, you're the cause of it. People make mistakes, and if, when they do, you can't wait to pick apart whatever they said or did to whoever will listen then their mistake is not the problem; you are. If you went away life would carry on. It is your presence and your vapid lazy yapping that keeps it all afloat. Things are better when a scorner leaves, whether the scorner thinks so or not. James says "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
Just like lust is a poor counterfeit of love, scorn is a poor counterfeit of rebuke.
Let's say, by way of example, you acquire a critical spirit in regards to your wife. You come home and you see the house in disarray as she has tried to wrangle the knothead children you two have produced. You have spent all day around adults, she has spent all day around tiny crazy versions of you. It would be easy to say to yourself ( and then later on to your peers) "She never cleans the house." The problem is , that isn't a true statement, and to think that way you have to have a scorner's heart. A scorner's heart will not consider all the facts. A scorners heart will conveniently omit from consideration all those times she HAS cleaned the house. A scorner's heart will only consider the facts that makes you look good because your heart yearns to exalt itself and the easiest way to do that is to knock somebody else down. Pretty soon that lazy prideful heart will convince you that she's no good and you are. After all, you got up and went to work and what did she do all day?
A scorner will never help out, they only criticize those that don't meet their standards. A scorner will never be broken in prayer over another's shortcomings, a scorner will simply chirp and squawk about how so-and-so did such-and -such. A scorner is their own biggest fan, and from the comfort of their spiritual recliner, will have the answers to everybody else's problems. Some scorners will even gather people unto themselves, and form cliques of other scorners. This is how church splits happen, in case you were wondering.
The end for scorners is tragic. The Bible says in Proverbs 24 "The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
" and in Proverbs 9 "
If thou be wise , thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest , thou alone shalt bear it.". All your little scorner friends will either get tired of you or turn on you. After they've picked apart their spouses and their pastors and their kids and their church, they inevitably always turn on each other. The truth is, unless you get a grip on this very common human tendency, and get sincere real help from God, eventually you will either have no friends, or you'll have friends you don't want. Remember, scorners shoot their own wounded, and eat their own dead.
It seems like, for me that this is something I have to deal with over and over again in my own heart. The older I get the more petty jealousy and envy and strife and pride I see in my own behavior, and the more I realize how much I need God, and how often I need to just shut my yapping critical mouth. I say things and think things not because they are true,but because I want them to be out of the lusts of my own heart. What a mess we all are.