“So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
This verse does a good job of summarizing just what contempt is. It is to look down upon someone, to demean them, to condemn them. It is to see them, through a lens, that colors everything they do and say in a negative manner.
A contemptuous person will turn a minor irritation into a horrific offense. Even a positively motivated behavior can be turned into a thoughtless, controlling or selfish action when seen in the presence of contempt.
In relationships, contempt can be predictive of troubling times ahead.
Effectively, in a state of contempt one person is stating that they are superior to their partner. It is a negative state in which someone is essentially looking for evidence that supports their perception that something is truly wrong with their partner. In this state of mind, it prevents them from being able to see the positive aspects that may be obvious to the majority of those around them.
If your relationship is in a difficult space, you may need to do some self-evaluation to determine if contempt is a part of your thought process.
If that is the case it becomes essential to stop focusing on your partner and start focusing on your own thoughts, your own needs, your own desires. Also to honestly evaluate and acknowledge your issues and make appropriate efforts to make changes in your own life. It is also important to seek a mindset of appreciation and respect in life, generally, as well as focused on your partner.
If contempt has become so ingrained in your relationship that you find it difficult to get free of its influence, it may be time to seek professional help. There is hope in overcoming contempt and its various formations. It will take work, but it is well worth the effort.
Written by Eric Clements, M.S.