Nehemiah 4:4 “Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads.”
I could remember my years in High School, facing criticism for my awkward appearance or shyness. Feeling out of place, not a part of the popular group. Their words hurt deeply. My only escape was to ignore them and spill my feelings into my journal. I did not return an insult to avoid further escalating the problem. I channeled the pain towards my schoolwork to excel with honors. I learn over time, hurting people will hurt others. We can trust God to silence the critics.
Nehemiah, a Hebrew heard that his people were in great danger of their walls falling down, leaving them defenseless. He ask God to use him to save the city. God answered His prayer, gathering men and supplies. Nehemiah faced a lot of critics as he led a team to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. They would mock Nehemiah and those working alongside him. “What they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall”(v.3)! Instead of feeling dejected or trying to refute their comments, he turned to God for help. He respond directly to God, he asked God to hear the way His people were being treated and to defend them. After entrusting those concerns to God, he and the others continued to work steadily on the wall with all their heart. His response to the critics helps me handle my own.
We can learn from Nehemiah not to be dismayed nor distracted by criticism. It can be difficult to live a Christian life, when we face opposition from friends, family, coworkers, or even leadership.. When we are mocked, it is easier to respond from a place of pain or anger. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from attacks nor feelings associated with it. Instead of responding out of hurt, we can ask God to defend us from discouragement so we can live free from bondage and finish the work.
We can find peace in God.
Pray & Reflect:
Lord, help me to remember that you are on the throne, not me. Help me to trust you with matters of the heart. Deliver me from the criticism of others. Father, this is challenging, very challenging. I ask you to heal and deliver me that I might see difficult people as a means to trust in You for the truth. I open the door of my heart to you, fully and wide. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. I ask for your help to lead me on this journey. In Jesus Name, Amen
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