Discovering your calling (2)
When God calls us to something, not everyone will be happy about it. Saul experienced this: ‘Some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.’ People may come against us because they doubt our abilities or because they’re jealous of what we’re doing. When this happens, what should we do? Saul reacted to the criticism by keeping silent. That’s a really important lesson for us. Sometimes we can become defensive and retaliate with our words. At times it might be right to speak up against people’s opinions in a gentle way, but at other times it will be right for us to keep quiet. It’s not our responsibility to convince others of our calling. By following God’s call, we might not be able to meet the expectations of other people. But we shouldn’t be living to please others. Our calling is from God, in order to advance His kingdom and glorify Him. When we know we’ve heard from God, the criticism of others will affect us less. His presence reassures us, His words direct our steps, and His peace settles the storm within us. We won’t require the praise of others, because His confidence in us will be enough. And if things don’t move as quickly as we’d like once we’ve been called, we need to keep this verse in mind: ‘Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin’ (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). Instead of comparing ourselves with others and putting ourselves down, let’s celebrate each small step of faith we take as we walk into our God-given calling.
Next time someone says something negative about what you’re doing for God, try not to retaliate or take their words to heart.
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