When Nehemiah and a crew had to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem, they faced criticism. The critics tried to discourage them from building the wall.
Nehemiah was a brilliant leader. He didn’t retaliate by fighting or arguing with the critics. He first went to God in prayer. He actually prayed for God to return the critics reproach upon their own heads and give them up to captivity. He prayed that God not forgive their actions and to not blot out their sin. He prayed to God to remind Him that the critics are making the work they are doing, (which is specifically Gods’ work that He called Nehemiah to do), more difficult.
Critics are everywhere. We cannot escape the criticism that the enemy sends our way. When you are doing something right, he tries to bring you down with negative thoughts. When you are doing something wrong, he tries to bring you even lower by ripping your self-image to shreds and sending you negative and false thoughts about how God sees you.
This is a sad, sad truth about life, and there is nothing we can do to change it. However, we can work on how we react to these negative attacks from the enemy.
Charles R. Swindoll said that there is nothing that excites the enemy more than his negative attacks to result into a lack of progress. So, the only way your spirit can be defeated is by giving up! So what do we do? We DON’T GIVE UP! We learn to listen to the attacks so that we can differentiate between the lies of the enemy and the truths of God. If you have a misrepresentation of how God sees you, then it is going to be an even tougher road to go down. We first must know how God truly sees us.
Recently I have discovered that for a long time now, I had a false impression of God.
I thought that I needed to please God by being perfect. I thought that God was often shaking his head in disappointment at me. I thought that God saw me as a problem child. This is not surprising, as the saying goes, we often see God how we were raised by our earthly parents. My situation is textbook, you could say. I grew up with parents and grandparents who were always speaking negativities to me about my choices or behaviors. I had no one to look up to as a good role model, as far as parents.
I still often see God, in my mind, up there, with His arms crossed and His head lowered and His eyes closed and shaking His head in disgust at me. But now I know that this is a trick and lie of the enemy, to keep me feeling defeated and emotionally beat down. I mean, if God is disappointed and frustrated and disgusted with me, then what hope do I have, right? So, now that I am getting a clearer view of how God really sees me, when those images or thoughts pop into my head, I now know that it is a bad habit and trick of the enemy. It’s still a process and I’m not all the way there yet but it is getting better and easier.
Now that I have a better view of how God sees me it is easier to recognize what is a lie from the enemy. Especially when it comes to falling short of the glory of God, or in times when I fall into temptation or when I know I’m on the right path (God’s Plan) and I face criticism for doing the right thing. It is often said, that leaders will face criticism, but actually we all do and we all are leaders of something or someone, even if you don’t even realize it. You don’t have to be the leader of a big congregation or the boss at work, to be a leader.
If you are a mother, then you are a leader of your children. If you are a father or a husband, you are a leader of your household. Just by your life you are living can be a good or bad example to others without you even realizing it, therefore you are leading someone in a positive or negative way.
So, if we are all leaders in one form or another, aren’t we all going to face opposition and criticism > ABSOLUTELY!
When we are faced with criticism or attacks, we must first Go to God in Prayer!!! Then we must act!!! This also depends on the situation. What does God say to you when you pray or after you pray? Does he say, Wait on Me! Be of good courage! I will rescue you! Or does He also say, Good job praying my child, now get up, wipe off your tears and walk! I will guide your steps! I will move your hands! I will speak through you, you need only open your mouth and HAVE FAITH!