For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, “They will become discouraged in the work, and it will never be finished.” But now, my God, strengthen me. — Nehemiah 6:9
How do you feel when someone wrongly criticizes you or says something false about you to another? In Nehemiah 6 we read how the rumor mill got started by a group of people who wanted to slander and intimidate Nehemiah. A man named Tobiah wrote a public letter stating that the reason Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall was for his own benefit, so that he could become king and lead Israel into a revolt against the reigning powers of the day. However, Nehemiah had received God-given guidance for his actions, so when he was confronted by adversaries, he trusted God for further wisdom. God will give us wisdom if we seek Him when we are faced with slanderous attacks and false accusations.
In spite of lies and rumors, Nehemiah kept his eyes on the job that God had called him to do. No coach wants to have his reputation damaged by lies. I am sure that Nehemiah was hurt by the accusations and wanted to defend his name, but he knew that God could be trusted with his reputation. Nehemiah was able to rise above the rumors and lies about him because he had a clear conscience (Neh 6:9). He could sleep at night knowing that the accusations were false.
If your conscience is not clear, then confess your sin. If your conscience is clear, then continue to trust God with your reputation. Additionally, Nehemiah prayed for strength to persevere. Your accusers don’t want you to succeed. Don’t let them win the battle. Finally, Nehemiah did not seek revenge. Retaliation will only distract you from your family and team. It is disobedience of God because when we retaliate, we are attempting to get justice for ourselves rather than waiting for God.
1. Do you have ulterior motives in some relationships?
2. How do you handle the rumors told about you?
Extra Reading: Nehemiah 6:2–15; Romans 12:17–21; Ephesians 4:25–29
Lord, help me to trust You when people speak falsely against my character. Help me to be a person who loves the truth. Amen.