When people get into recovery, most people are pulling for them.  Most people.

There are always those that are threatened by a person that is trying to make themselves better.

When Nehemiah went to rebuild the walls and gates in Jerusalem, he had hecklers.  There was Sanballat and Tobiah.  Sanballat was the one that was all offended.  He just had to give his opinion of the undertaking.

Nehemiah 4:1 Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, 2 saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”

People always want to criticize someone that is trying to rebuild.  It really hurts when that happens but it doesn’t mean that rebuilding has to stop.

Then Tobiah, who may not have had much thinking capacity at all, comes up with one of the worst put downs in the history of burns.

Nehemiah 4:3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!” 

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Imagine, you try to really say something clever and it just comes out stupid and it is recorded in the Bible for everyone to read for thousands of years.  I had better be careful of what I say.  The only legacy Tobiah has is an epic fail in cutting someone down.

Nehemiah 4:4 Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! 5 Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.”

Nehemiah was hurt when the insults and jokes were hurled at their efforts to rebuild.  But he did not take matters into his own hands.  He went to God with it.

Now, Nehemiah did not pray a very “Jesus-like” prayer.  Jesus told us to pray for our enemies not that bad things would happen to them.  But, then again, God wants us to come to him with how we really feel.

Nehemiah prayed and told God how he felt and put it in God’s hands.  He didn’t stand in the streets returning the disrespect and hate.  He didn’t post a rant on Facebook aimed at inciting a verbal riot.  He didn’t get in Sanballat’s face and threaten him.

He simply and honestly went to God.

The walls continued to be rebuilt.

That’s the most important thing about recovery, to keep rebuilding.

I don’t need to defend my reasons, my actions, my intentions or anything else.  I need to place my opposition in God’s hands and keep rebuilding.

2 thoughts on “Surviving the Taunting

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