Inevitably, someone isn’t going to like what you’re doing. Someone is going to point out everything that’s wrong about it. That person is going to tell you all the reasons you should be considering something else. Sometimes, that someone is right. Accountability in the Church is not what it should be. However, when a healthy accountability relationship exists, the believers involved benefit spiritually and emotionally. In that kind of relationship, when something is amiss at least one Christian should be telling another that something that other person is doing wrong. But we’re not talking about those types of relationships.
We’re talking about the situations when you know what you’re doing is the right thing for you to be doing. Then the naysayers show up and tell you that you’re wrong. They may even stress how dangerous what you’re doing (or about to do) is. Those folks may even be people who are close to you, who care about you, and who honestly think they are doing the right thing. If you aren’t sure and it’s someone you trust, then you should pause to reconsider (if there’s time). However, if you are sure, especially if it’s something you know God would have you do, then you must tune out the naysayers.
But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.” – Nehemiah 2:19-20, ESV
Nehemiah was confronted by at least three people who told him that what he was doing was foolish. They didn’t just tell him he was wrong, the Scriptures tell us they jeered at him. They went out of their way to make him feel like a fool. They belittled him. They even went so far as to accuse him of rebelling against the king.
Nehemiah could have stopped right there and said, “Rebel against the king? Who do you think authorized me to be here? Who do you think put his seal on this letter authorizing me supplies?” Note that he didn’t do that. Instead, Nehemiah pointed them to God. He shut down the naysayers by putting the focus on He who would make it happen. An earthly king was important, but he wasn’t as important as the King of kings.
What was true for Nehemiah is also true for us. If you know you’re doing something God has called you to do, learn to tune out the naysayers. Also, if you are forced into a confrontation, tell the truth plainly. Focus on why you’re doing it. Nehemiah didn’t argue their points. He simply stated his. He wasn’t mean-spirited. He didn’t get into a shouting match. He put the focus on God. So should we. It may not be popular, but that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is we are being obedient to our Lord and our God. There should never be any shame in that.