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Dealing with Criticism | Detractors

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2022 3:00 am

Dealing with Criticism | Detractors

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 18, 2022 3:00 am

When you’re listening to the radio, you hear one station at a time. There may be dozens and dozens up and down the dial, but your tuner helps you hear just one. Well, today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out there are voices of opposition calling to us as we walk with the Lord. We need an internal, spiritual tuner that helps us hear just the voice of God. We’ll look to the example of Nehemiah and his wall builders today in learning how we can ignore our detractors.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of the new beginning is brought to you by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith you are doing God's work rolling on your critics. You will not be doing with God hold your lies on the home position on the Lord, our hearts are usually short, choose who we listen to Pastor Greg Maurice's shoes. Well, don't let the loudest voices. Your critics love the loudest voice in your life. God speaking to you and your one station at a time. There may be dozens and dozens of domicile your tuner help you pastor Greg Laurie points out there are voices of opposition calling need an internal spiritual just the voice of God will look to the example of Nehemiah's wall builders learning how we can learn about a month to join a monastery and he took a vow of silence he was allowed to words every year so the first year of the he went into the Abbott's office and was allowed to words you said what would you like to say the monk turned to him and said bed hard another year passes by, he said nothing to anyone and then he's allowed us to words. He goes and appears before the Albert again. The evidence is all right want to hear two words in the man says foods hold another year passes body he appears again before the evidence is okay. You're allowed here to words, what are they the man says.

I quit the habit. Several it's no wonder all you've done said you've got here is complain is to some people, all they want to do is complain they want to be critical. I think some people think it's some kind of a spiritual gift to be critical of others, and it isn't, you know, it's always easy to critique what someone else is doing. But my question to a person like this would be what are you doing for heaven sake, I mean instead of tearing someone else down what are you doing, what were the book of Nehemiah were looking at this book of rebuilding the wall. Nehemiah was called by God to go rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

And when you get down to it, everyone is either building the wall or in a way where tearing down the wall so I close with a series of questions last time. Are you a participator or are you a spectator.

Are you a servant or are you a slacker. Are you a worker or are you was shorter. Let me put it another way, are you a wall builder are you will wall breaker. Are you a faith builder or are you of faith, breaker seated really comes down to one of the two somewhere doing the work of God. Others are standing on the sidelines and critiquing those that are doing the work of God is kind of consider on the them. I got to worry was he was the king's cupbearer. As you remember, that meant that he would taste the food before the king when needed. He would drink whatever the king would drink in and this put him in close proximity to the king, so he was not only in a place of influence. He also was in a place of influence and he had a significant role therein. He was living literally in the lab of luxury, but he was a Jewish man and the Jews have been allowed to return from Babylon to their homeland again and many had and then rebuilt the temple, but word came to Nehemiah that the walls were lying in rubble, they were charred they were burned out.

It was an embarrassment and Nehemiah was led by the Lord to go rebuild the walls. Again, you know, no way were all building something some of us are building a marriage or just talk to a couple married Jake just got back from their honeymoon. So they're building their marriage.

I met some people after the first service of been married many many years of their continuing to build a marriage but sometimes marriages break sometimes families break sometimes things that are built need to be re-billed again. So were building were trying to do what God wants us to do. We want strong marriages. We want strong families. We want a strong church. We want a strong spiritual life, but I have to warn you the moment you start building is a moment you will also start battling what is that mean that means that Satan opposes what God loves God loves it. Satan hates it. Satan disapproves of what God approves, and so we need to press on because God is in the rebuilding business but Satan is in the tearing down business and if you are doing the work of God, you will face opposition FX if you don't face opposition, you might ask yourself the question, am I really doing the work of God story is told of the great evangelist John Wesley was riding his horse.

He would go from town to town and preach the gospel so is writing long and it suddenly occurs to him that it is been three whole days since he is been persecuted in any way you got is been three days since anyone through and get me through a brick at me and he began to wonder if something was wrong with him spiritually so he stopped his horse and climbed up.

He dropped onto his knees and said, Lord, have I backslid have I done something to offend you that I've not been persecuted with her some guy standing nearby recognizes the preacher has a particular disdain for Wesley so this guy picks up a brick and throws it out. The preacher apparently Mrs. Wesley said Wesley is all excited and says thank you Lord, I know I still have your presence.

I love that story. I don't think we should all be praying that people throw bricks out of. But I want to know this. If you're doing God's work.

The bricks are going to start flying. So let's see what happened now and Nehemiah chapter 4 and I'm a read verses 1 to 3.

By the way I'm reading from the new living translation. Son ballade was very angry when he learned we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews saying in front of his friends and the Samaritan army officers. What does this bunch of poor people Jews think they're doing they think they can build the wall in a single day by offering just a few sacrifices to the actually think they can make something of stone from a rubbish heap and charred ones at that to her by the arm and I was standing beside him remarked that Stonewall would collapse if even a fox walked over the top of it.

There is point number one already set in the way. But let me say it more officially when you build. You will have to battle when you build. You will have to battle two names keep popping up in our narrative son ballade until buyer. These are the initial opponents of Nehemiah and God's people. They've gone from minor irritation to a full-blown rage. My friend James Merritt says there's two kinds of people in this world. Some people are born again and some people are born against you know some people are just contrary people you know who they are. Immediately become the look on their face. Nothing pleases them. Nothing meets their standards and and they actually like to go and make trouble in the lives of other people. Proverbs 416 says of these folks, evil people are restless unless they're making trouble. They can even get a good nights sleep unless they made life miserable for somebody while some of you are married to these people, aren't you, some of you work with these people. Many of us go to church with these people. The worst of all, some of you are these people.

Everyone of these people raise her hand. No doubt you know if there's something here's the thing. I doubt one of these people that is hypercritical would even know that about themselves. These other trash talkers under the wall break, Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message just a moment whenever you reach out to us, whether through email a letter or even a text message we read every word.

Pastor Greg went to thank you for everything you do. If it wasn't for your messages. I honestly believe my husband and I would no longer be married.

It's been difficult as my husband is in the military and we have a special needs child. One night when I was about to leave him beg me to stay and watch your married sermons on YouTube and so I did.

Now when we go to bad we still watch your sermon videos that we don't use them to follow sleep. Of course there's a lot obviously left out but I hope one day we can talk in person. In March we celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.

Because of God in you. Thank you and God bless how encouraging Pastor Greeks teachings help to save this marriage of a story this year if so, would you let us know tell us your story by calling 1-866-871-1144 again it's 866-871-1144 today. Pastor Greg is helping us be prepared for the opposition.

We may face as we do our work for the Lord. It's a message called dealing with criticism number two if you're doing God's work, you will be roundly criticized if you're doing God's work will be roundly criticized. Let me turn that around. If you're not roundly criticized. Are you actually doing the work of God, I've come to look at it as a form of confirmation that I'm on the right track in a criticism can be demoralizing. They can be painful for me. Nehemiah had just started building this wall comes verse two of these poor people. Jews think they're doing by the way there's more than a hint of anti-Semitism in that statement. Poor people, Jews, and so Nehemiah was going to press on and do what God called him to do some fun to be ridiculed as it it's unenjoyable to be laughed at the wake Hollywood portrays Christians Hollywood that's so full of virtue right Hollywood that's gonna set the moral standards for all of us to follow. Don't get me started. But they love to portray gods as Christians is fools and buffoons and racist the misogynists and you don't fill in blank care for everything that is wrong with this world and don't even start with the preachers are the worst of all, that's how Hollywood presents as that is a form of persecution and here's what Jesus said about that in Matthew five Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted the prophets that were before you. By the way, in that statement that's found in the Beatitudes, by the way, Jesus used the word blessed twice as he talked about persecution. So the word blessed can also be translated happy.

Don't affect the Lord is a happy happy are the persecuted is and why it's not such a happy thing when you are persecuted yeah but understand it's a confirmation you're a child of God. Just make sure you're persecuted for the right reason sometimes are persecuted for being mean or harsh or some other thing, make sure it's for righteousness sake.

But critics will always be there. Critics run in packs. Critics engage in groupthink.

They feed off each other you for the expression. Birds of a feather flock together so critical.

People find each other and they can just get together and be critical. The promise it will stay friends for long years after while they turn on each other to see they become cannibalistic their resentful of your success. They don't want you to do well because if you do well may make them look bad and it's interesting because in chapter 2, there were two critics son ballade until buyer but here in chapter 4 we have a whole new slew of critics that have joined them. We have in verse seven and the Arabs, the ammonites and the ascot.

I saw this whole crew was Martin and criticizing the Israelites as they rebuild the wall and the people were getting a little bit over well how do you deal with criticism will first of all I was trying to listen to it. I was feel I can learn. Sometimes for my critics if they have my best interests in mind is only one of the first things you want to identify when someone is critiquing you.

It is the are they trying to help me or hurt to have a group of people that I know and trust that I will talk to you starting with critic oh no, Catherine, Lori, my wife, so trust me, I always know what you think is right and I'll ask you what you think of this. What you think of that I have a wider group of friends and all run things by them ideas by them, plans, visions, whatever. What you think of this, they will give me their honest opinion and I value their honest opinion and I listen to what they have to say. So that's one group of people.

There are people that want to help you. They just want to tear you down. You know, these are the people that hide behind his pseudonym online and sent out their missives from their laptop in their mother's basement and I don't even have the courage to say the your face what they say behind your back or even say online I don't have a lot of respect for people like that are the people to write anonymous letters. I would just like some of you write me an anonymous letter. It's going to go on the circular file that's known as a trashcan unit of the courage to come up and talk to me. Why would I want to read your anonymous letter you cited concern whether to just sign it cowardly because here's what I find about people the make a whole case over something that they dreamed up in their brain maybe is a little truth in it and if they would've just taught you can.

Is it actually that's incorrect what you just said and this is not happening in the other thing is not happening.

Oh, and it blows her whole narrative, so they love their little fictional narrative that they want to create that document just become a world were living in right now. My friend Alan Redpath two great British preacher who is going on. They haven't but I remember he used to say to us if you want to be a preacher or a leader, you need the mind of a scholar. The heart of a child in the hide of a rhinoceros and there's some truth to that. You have to toughen up a little bit but others criticism was not from God at all. It was meant to destroy them. I came across an interesting quote from David Brinkley. Some of you may remember him from days gone by. He was a journalist on television. He made the statement quote a successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that have been thrown at him. I like that he lays a firm foundation with the bricks that have been thrown at him take away truth.

Don't let the loudest voices in your life. Your critics let the loudest voice in your life be God speaking to you soon Greg I don't I don't like criticism.

I don't want to hear criticism will get theirs away to live a criticism free line. There is a way where no one will ever critique you at all ready for you might want to write this down if you wanted never be criticized at all. Say nothing, do nothing and be nothing there is so pure get some event sounds good to me. Okay, go for it doesn't sound good to me didn't say anything, didn't do anything, you will be critiqued for sure. So let's see how they handled it. Point number three. When you're under attack. Take it to the Lord in prayer when you're under attack to get to the Lord in prayer. Nehemiah prayed about the criticism and he persisted in the rebuilding of the wall. What I love about Nehemiah is he never stopped building the wall ever. Not even a coffee break. He just kept building and building will get me in my four verse four. Then I pray heroes so our God were being mocked, made their sculpting fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land to not ignore their guilt, don't blot out their sins, for they are provoked to the anger in front of the builders and at last the wall was completed to half its height around the city for the people at work with enthusiasm. So what you do when you critique what you do when you're attacked you to get to the Lord in prayer. When the Israelites were griping and complaining about Moses. Whatever you do, he called on the Lord, and he prayed about it when there was a threatening letter sent to King Hezekiah what he do he laid it out on the ground and brought up before the Lord John the Baptist was beheaded, what his disciples do they went and told Jesus. So when trouble comes your way. Call out to God because first Peter 57 says, casting all your care upon him for he cares for you say Lord I can handle this. This is too much for me to carry.

I just place it in your hands.

There's two things you can always pass on to Jesus.

Are you ready for this two things you can always pass on to Jesus criticism lesson and praise criticism and praise because one can deflate you criticism, the other can inflate you praise and both are not helpful for you spiritually so-so and attacked you Lord on a note to do about that. I just present that you someone praises you, Lord, you know I'm not the person I get that to you because I want to continue to be used by you. If we give the Lord credit for anything good. We can also give to him the control over bad, but if you focus on your critics. You will not be doing what God has called you to do if your eyes are on the opposition then they're not on the Lord. Nehemiah could see that people were starting to be demoralized, he could see the fear on their face every see someone with a really afraid he could see it and he says to them in Nehemiah 414.

I looked over the situation. I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said don't be afraid of the enemy no underline this phrase. Remember the Lord underline that.

Remember the Lord who is great and glorious and fight for your brothers or sons, daughters, wives in your homes. See, he knew they needed to be encouraged and so he says guys remember the Lord, you know.

Remember is been aware that shoes throughout history is sort of a battle cry when young men and women are taken into the Israeli army. They go to Masada, which was originally built by King Herod's assertive winter getaway and I it was also a place for over a thousand Jews were killed by the Romans. 2000 years ago and so it's something they used to inspire Israelis that is there defending their country and they to come up to Masada and they say remember Masada during the Mexican-American war. The battle cry was remember the Alamo during World War II.

The battle cry was remember Pearl Harbor and we as believers need to remember the Lord. Remember God's in control. What is it mean what we say. Remember the Lord that means God has been faithful in your past, and he will be faithful in your present.

It'll be faithful also in your future. So remembering Greg Lord good reminders today to take it to the Lord were criticized and remember the Lord for all the times he's brought us through Westgate were making available your new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus. The spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll. You may ask you this what is it that drives your interesting cultural icons, especially in the music industry. I've always been a fan of pop culture always been interested in it.

You have to understand that God has called me to be an evangelist and evangelist builds bridges to the culture. He lives in or she lives in. Take Paul on Mars Hill recorded in acts 17. At that time Athens was the cultural and intellectual center of the planet. It also was a city that had thousands of altars are directed to various idols, various gods of the worship so Paul went sightseeing and took in the sights and sounds of Athens and the Bible says his spirit was disturbed and so he got up in front of the people in the town square.

There effectively. The Areopagus and begin to speak to them, but it's interesting how we started. He said men of Athens, I perceive that you are spiritual. One translation says religious, we might say today I see your into spirituality. Then Paul quoted their own poets to build a bridge to the message that was based on the gospel so I take this concept and I use it I might preach it all up and start one of my evangelistic messages that I would do one of our events that we call harvest crusades and I might start by quoting the movie start quoting a rockstar coating. The billionaire seen something that lines up with what the Bible tells us as an example, I would quote actor Jim Carrey who would say I wish everyone could be rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of. So they would realize that's not the answer.

I'm not basing my message on what actors are rockstar say, but I use that to build a bridge to my listener and then I tell them what the Bible said okay so no shift gears over this book I've written titled Lennon Dylan Allison Jesus. So I'm exploring the lives of these people who had it all who been there done that about the T-shirt and in some cases had been the T-shirt and I'm showing through their lives that the things this culture offers are not really going to meet the deepest needs of our life successes and going to do it on a new record isn't going to do it.

Global fame isn't going to do it a bunch of cars and mentioned that won't do it. A bunch of girls that won't do it. No, they need Jesus and I told the stories of those that found the answer they were looking for became believers people like Richie pure Carrey live grin of Kansas, Alice Cooper beyond the Mucci Roger McGuinn of the birds and many others that I also told the tragic stories of those that did not find the answer and how their lives ended like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse in Chester Bennington, and the list just goes on. So it's a book that shows what happens when you make the right and the wrong choices, but ultimately it's a book that I think will offer hope and say to you, there is no one that you know that is beyond the reach of God. That's right. And maybe been looking for some help in reaching out to someone who seems so far from God. Maybe the things of this world of captured their attention. This can be such a great resource. Read it for yourself and then pass along to someone who needs this message again is called Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus and will send it to say thank you for your investment in spreading the gospel through harvest ministries and a new beginning were completely listener supported and were so thankful for your partnership so call us today at 1-800-821-3300. We are here to take your call around the clock again. That's 1-800-821-3300 fourth just go online to harvest for next time more encouraging counsel from Pastor Greg about facing our opposition to our work for the Lord. Join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teachers regularly and new beginning as a podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this shell has impacted your life. Share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast and help others find help

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