By Greg Laurie
Then I pressed further, ‘What you are doing is not right! Should you not walk in the fear of our God in order to avoid being mocked by enemy nations?’
There have been times when I’ve written a letter or e-mail but never sent it. I’ll wait to see if I feel the same way the next day. Then the next morning I’ll say, “What was I thinking? There’s no way I’m sending that.”
Generally, anger is a bad thing, but sometimes it can be a good thing. In Nehemiah’s case, it was. It was righteous indignation that led him to confront the leaders in Judah about the way they were treating their fellow Jews, those who had returned from Babylon to help rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
Nehemiah said to the leaders, “What you are doing is not right! Should you not walk in the fear of our God in order to avoid being mocked by enemy nations?” (Nehemiah 5:9 NLT).
If you’re a Christian, realize that nonbelievers are watching you every day. What are they looking for? They’re waiting for you to slip up. They want you to do or say something so they can call you a hypocrite, a phony.
This is why, after David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba, the prophet Nathan came to him and said, “By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme” (2 Samuel 12:14 NKJV).
On the other hand, when you live a godly life, when you bring honor to the Lord despite your suffering, when you do something kind for someone, when you forgive someone who has hurt you, it drives unbelievers insane.
Nehemiah was saying, “Does it even cross your mind what the other nations would think or what our enemies would think?”
I wonder if people in the church ever think about this. Do we even think about our witness . . . or lack thereof? We need to think about these things.
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