Words of Life

Judgmental Jeers vs.Happy Service

Nehemiah 4:

  • The local Jerusalem community does not like what is being repaired and rebuilt in their midst. But isn’t that normal? Suppose there was an organization in your community that began well, even had a very noteworthy peak, but ended in a very destructive and humiliating way. Suppose an effort was made, 3/4 of a century after this organization’s tragic end, to reorganize. I can imagine many would think, “Here it goes again! They will gain popularity, then oppress us, and ultimately wreck our community!” Would you investigate? Would you inquire about the reasons, motives, and goals? Would you possibly help? Or would you more likely say, “This cannot end well! It has to be stopped!”
  • I would suggest, based on my observations and experiences, that we are more prone to react and judge rather than compassionately inquire. We then forfeit our ability to function in a way that is more in line with God’s heart and God’s will, leaving us bitter and afraid.
    • O LORD, how much have we missed because we are rooted in our own presuppositions and judgments?! No one’s motives and methods will ever be pure or laid out in a perfectly straight path. But failing to see potential and good around us will only lock us into fear, bitterness, and discontent. Help us to have eyes to see good efforts (though imperfect) in our community, that we can joyfully move closer to Your heart and ways. Let us not be amoung the judgmental jeerers! (vs. 1-3)
    • Holy Spirit, I never completely understand Your ways. In fact, I often am at odds with Your ways. When displeasure and confusion swirl around me (which is more the norm), help me not give way to joyless discontent that rots my soul and prevents me from joyfully experiencing You. Help me have eyes for the goodness and blessings that are around me, that I may live in continual celebration. Let me not give way to the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality that steals joy and contentment. You have been good to me and I am glad!

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