Is Your Discipleship Attracting "Haters" (i.e., negativity)?

Discipleship is a reference to being a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is synonymous with Christian maturity.

In Nehemiah 4:7-14, the people of God had made progress on rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem. Sanballat and others rose up with negative comments. And even among the people of God there were negative comments.

It used to be a popular expression among young people ("young people" change so quickly, especially in the eyes of "old people" - smile) in describing those who were talking negatively about them to say that the negative commentators were "hating" on them.

In spite of the negative comments or "hating" in our text, Nehemiah urged the people to prayerfully keep on working.

When we make progress in doing what God is calling us to do, we should not be surprised when negativity comes from those around us and sometimes even out of our own mouths. We should not be surprised when the "haters" come.

However, if we continue to prayerfully work towards God’s calling on our lives, we can make it. The thesis (i.e., message in a sentence) of this series of devotionals, "When the 'Haters' Come," is that we should counter negativity with prayerful work.

In this devotional, let's focus on the matter of progress with your discipleship. Just as the Jews of our text were rebuilding the walls around their city, you ought to be working to rebuild your life, the lives of your family members, and your community.

As part of your discipleship, you should find yourself studying and striving to obey God’s Word, in every area of your life.

For example, God’s Word urges us to be wise stewards of our health (see I Cor. 6:19). Thus, we should be busy with things like eating right, exercising, having a routine of visiting the doctors, resting, and keeping a positive mental attitude.

God’s Word urges us to be wise stewards of our finances (see Mt. 25:14-30). Thus, we should be working on earning high, spending low, investing, and planning to pass wealth on to responsible people.

Self Examination

Are you making enough progress in carrying out God's will in the area of discipleship to even attract "haters"?

On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how would you grade your taking care of your body?

What are you doing to develop and maintain a grade of five?

On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how would you grade your being a wise steward of your finances?

What are you doing to develop and maintain a grade of five?

What other areas of discipleship, following God's Word, are you working on?

On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how would you grade yourself in these areas?

What are you doing to develop and maintain a grade of five?

Prayer

Great and awesome God, I praise You for being such an awesome God who has a marvelous plan for Your people.

I thank You for saving me and allowing me to be numbered among Your people. I thank You for allowing me to be among those who You have called to do great things.

I confess that I have not always done my best to discern and obey Your will for my life. I pray that You would forgive me for this and my many others sins, in the name of Jesus.

Please help me to work even harder at making progress in carrying out Your will for my discipleship.

Help me to take care of the body that You have entrusted to me. Help me to take care of the finances that You have placed in my stewardship.

Help me stay focused, even when "haters" come into my life. I thank You, in the name or your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Be Blessed,
Dr. Robert E. Baines, Jr.


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