Text: — Nehemiah 2:19-20 — 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.” [NIV84]
The Big Idea: Join me in eliminating the “Shout Down” method.
In today’s culture, it seems to be very vogue among sophisticated pundits to ‘win’ an argument with someone they disagree by the “Shout Down” method. If I can’t get my point across to you or if you don’t buy my line of reasoning (if present), then I will just shout louder. This will win you over, right!?
Beyond the accusation of being sophisticated, I have found that shouting down an opponent is neither wise nor godly. And Nehemiah shows us how to respond to an ‘opponent’ in the above verses. He calmly, but most confidently, answers this slanderous accusation by merely stating the facts. Oh, he appeals to a higher authority than even the king (and remember he does have the king’s authority). To Nehemiah, this project is by divine appointment. The Lord made a way for His people to be protected through the king’s hand. Nehemiah is confident of this, and feels not need to shout down his opponent.
Lifestyle worshipers, join me in eliminating the “Shout Down” method. Let us be wise as serpents, harmless as doves, and godly as our Lord Jesus, Who never felt the compulsion to shout anyone down. Rather, let us speak the Truth in Love so we can be heard; and live it so it can be believed. Your thoughts.
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
— 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NIV84)
Here is my servant, whom I support,my chosen one, in whom I delight. I’ve placed my Spirit upon him;and he’ll deliver his justice throughout the world. He won’t shout, or raise his voice,or make it heard in the street.
— Isaiah 42:1-2 (ISV)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
— 1 Corinthians 13:1 (ESV)
Lord Jesus Christ, I put You on as my Belt of Truth and my Socks of Gentleness. May Your Love overwhelm me to speak the Truth in a gentle and kind manner so it will be clearly heard by all who will listen. In Your Name, Amen.