Contempt Lite

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Contempt Lite

By Amy Clemens on April 19, 2022

Read: Isaiah 6:1-13

And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, . . . for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (v. 5)

Perfectionism, expecting yourself and everyone else to measure up to your high standards, is a way to protect yourself from weakness. Failure and contempt are the inevitable and ugly result of perfectionism.

Perhaps you only have “contempt lite” like I did: in other words, contempt for weakness in yourself—and perhaps also for others who show weakness. I have to admit I was there for a good portion of my life and thought showing weakness or vulnerability was surely a disgrace to God, my family, and especially myself. I expected perfection, an attitude that was hard on others around me too. God had to do a lot of work to break me of these inclinations.

I’m not trying to say there’s something noble about being weak, and I’m not suggesting that we act weak even though we feel strong. What I am suggesting is that when we draw a little nearer to “the King, the LORD of hosts” as Isaiah did, we will have a sudden epiphany about who we are and who God is. We see ourselves in contrast to God’s total, glorious, and very large perfection and realize how shallow our attempts at the same are. That is where Isaiah found himself, and it is where we will find ourselves too. —Amy Clemens

As you pray, ask for a glimpse of what Isaiah saw that changed him forever.

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