Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 28, 2014
They mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding. Nehemiah 2:19-20
Sometimes servants of God are mocked and ridiculed for their sincere service. Jealous are those who feel like they may lose control and their influence ignored. The cynic does not sit still when their assumptions are challenged. They attack people’s motives and attempt to label their enemies as rebels. Hate demonizes good people and tries to discredit anyone who disagrees with them. Mockers rage when the righteous work without listening to their critic’s complaints.
How should we handle intimidation from jealous schoolmates, co-workers or neighbors? One approach is to see critics as heavenly sandpaper meant to refine our intent into integrity. Like a master wood craftsman meticulously smooths away any rough edges with their tool of the trade, so God’s Spirit uses coarse words to purify our motives. If only 1% of a skeptic’s scorn is accurate, it can scrub our soul, so it shines for our Savior Jesus. Ridicule is proof God’s work is at hand.
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you. Proverbs 9:7-8
It is futile to attempt to reason with a mocker. Their mind is made up, unable to change unless Christ does a mental miracle. Their view of the world is set, so we waste the Lord’s precious time if we try to change their mind. We just invite additional abuse and insults if we argue with our agitators. The harsh reality is some human beings are beyond being convinced for now. Pray for them and avoid harboring anger against them. Forgive and stay focused on Christ’s calling.
Furthermore, remain faithful where the Lord has you. Persevere in prayer at your work. Rebuild, by loving unconditionally, a relationship that once was robust with joy. Rebuild your reputation, by doing what you say. Start over in faith your business or ministry that was ravished by an economic storm. Rebuild where God is working. He will bring you success. Ignore the noise of loud mockers and persuasive ridiculers. Listen only to the Lord’s quiet voice and obey by faith.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:12
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me courage to ignore those who mean harm and the discernment to listen to those whose intentions are honorable.
Related Readings: Proverbs 1:20-33, 10:23, 13:20; Psalm 123:4; Isaiah 30:15; Luke 23:11
Post/Tweet today: See critics as heavenly sandpaper meant to refine your intent into integrity. #critics
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