Nehemiah 4:1-2 Ignoring the Silly People

Neh. 4:1   But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

When I used to hold bible clubs at Church there was a group of children who took great joy in coming by and interrupting. Particularly when I was teaching.

They would shout loudly while walking by, run in and out quickly, and make fun of the children inside. This was obviously frustrating while trying to explain the Gospel so I would stop teaching and make them leave at first. But soon I realized something that changed the response completely.

The reason these children were being rebellious is because they wanted attention. So by taking my energy away from the children that actually came to these rebellious ones I was giving them exactly what they wanted.

So instead of feeding their desire for attention I made a new rule….

ignore the silly people

This didn’t work every day, but most of the time when we acted as if those children weren’t there they would quickly get bored, and walk away.

As amazing as it may seem many adults today need to keep my “ignoring the silly people” rule in mind.

Last year there was a huge argument between a group of people that eventually led to glass bottles being thrown at one another, and one person being cut on the foot. It was a huge thing that eventually I believe the police got involved with.

The whole thing started when one young lady told a young man his girlfriend needed to go to the hair-dressers.

Now all this young man had to do was ignore the ignorant statement from someone who was probably just trying to make him angry. But instead he tried to get into a physical altercation with her, and other people then things escalated from there.

ignoring the silly people understands they verbally attack you for attention, and refuses to play their game.

because the initial threats against Nehemiah didn’t work, Sanballat decided to try another tactic. He began to mock (make fun of) the work they were doing. The goal of Sanballat was to make Nehemiah stop bulling the wall, and argue with him instead. Specifically he pointed out how pathetic the wall looked at that moment.

  • Are you actually going to protect yourselves?
  • Do you really believe that you can worship God in peace?
  • Are you going to build a wall with these worthless rocks?

In the same way, those who desire to serve God will encounter those who want to drag them down verbally

  • It will never work anyways!
  • The Job is too big!
  • You may as well just give up!

If this doesn’t work they will find a way to attack you directly, and distract you from the work that way

This is why we must understand reacting to the silly people of the world makes the problem worse because your just feeding their desire for attention.

Instead you show them a sign of respect, but no retaliation

  1. Like simply walking by as they try to make you angry
  2. Saying good morning with a big smile
  3. and responding with kindness instead of hostility

It’s shocking how the adult silly people get bored quickly with people that don’t respond just like the children. So it won’t take long before they look for easier targets. Until then, we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from the work of God by those addicted to approval.

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