Nasty Words!

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“When Sanballat (the governor of Samaria) heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” Neh 4:1

OUCH!  Discouraging.  Painful.  Mocking.

Ridicule was the first major attack from the opposition.  They mocked the workers, the project, and the materials.

Think about a time when you felt attacked on every side.  What did you learn from this season, and how did it affect your relationship with God?

My first response when attacked is to fire back in defense of myself.  Later, when it is quiet, I usually want to hide under my covers and cry.  Insults hurt, and the ones that wound the most usually have shards of truth in them.

I have learned that I must search my heart carefully.

Sometimes I am wrong.  In that case, I must be quick to admit it.  I must ask for forgiveness from offended parties.  I must work to repair the damage, including making a public statement if necessary.

Sometimes I am right.  In that case I must stand quietly and patiently, persevering with utter disregard for the foolishness coming out of the mouths of others.

Nehemiah prayed (4:4-5) and then he went back to work.  What a great example he is of courage and perseverance in the face of opposition!

— Nehemiah, a Bible study by Kelly Minter.

* photo of awesome tshirt: www.johngushue.typepad.com

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