Whenever someone is successful, there is a person in the background offended by their achievements. For every politician who wins the vote, there is someone who loses out.
For every salesperson who, scores a big contract there is one who misses out on a bonus. For every sporting success story, there is another athlete who was pushed into second place.
Jesus Himself recognised this phenomenon in His parable of the prodigal son. When the father welcomes back his lost son, the older brother reacts badly.
The same happens in the story of Nehemiah. Now armed with letters of authority from the king of Babylon, he has great influence and abundant resource.
The haters are going to hate; someone is always going to be unhappy about your success. The haters in this story are Sanballat and Tobiah.
They are not celebrating Nehemiah’s success, they are ‘disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites’.
There is a famous poem, ‘Anyway’, which challenges this behaviour:
A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, help me to be more like the “father” than the “older brother”, that I may see the best in others and not see all the faults. To see through Your eyes. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Do you ever feel like Sanballat or Tobiah when someone achieves great success? Or are you the first to congratulate them? Today, send someone a message of encouragement.
Scripture To Consider:
Prov. 3:5; Luke 15:11–32; Rom. 12:2; Jas 4:10