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The Wrong Sort of Criticism

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Nehemiah 4:1,2 When Sanballat heard that we were building the wall of Jerusalem, he was very angry and upset. He started making fun of the Jews. Sanballat talked with his friends and the army at Samaria and said, “What are these weak Jews doing? Do they think we will leave them alone? Do they think they will offer sacrifices? Maybe they think they can finish building in only one day. They cannot bring stones back to life from these piles of trash and dirt. These are just piles of ashes and dirt!”

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The Wrong Sort of Criticism


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There are two equal and opposite forms of criticism you’ll face in life – constructive and destructive. Criticism that builds you up, and criticism that tears you down. And there’s a world of difference between the two.

Today we’re going to chat about destructive criticism – the sort that seeks to tear you down. In around 587BC, the Babylonians (as God’s instrument of judgement against His people for their idolatry) destroyed Jerusalem and took the Israelites captive as slaves for seventy years. When God finally released them and returned them to the Promised Land, their first task was to rebuild the defensive wall around Jerusalem.

That was a huge project led by Nehemiah. But they came in for a lot of criticism from their enemies:

Nehemiah 4:1,2 When Sanballat heard that we were building the wall of Jerusalem, he was very angry and upset. He started making fun of the Jews. Sanballat talked with his friends and the army at Samaria and said, “What are these weak Jews doing? Do they think we will leave them alone? Do they think they will offer sacrifices? Maybe they think they can finish building in only one day. They cannot bring stones back to life from these piles of trash and dirt. These are just piles of ashes and dirt!”

I’m sure when you’ve set about doing good you’ve faced that sort of criticism too. Interesting though … the criticism came from people who were sitting back doing nothing. As actor Denzel Washington once said:

You’ll never be criticised by someone who’s doing more than you. You’ll always be criticised by someone who’s doing less. Remember that.

Don’t let destructive criticism stop you from doing God’s work.

That’s His Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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