As I have mentioned in previous posts I am currently studying the book of Nehemiah. I strongly urge you to dive in because it is very pertinent in surviving and thriving in times of trial.
The study I am doing is by Kelly Minter.
I took special note of Tobiah (Nehemiah 6:19). Essentially Tobiah had been a thorn in Nehemiah’s side. He was against the rebuild of the wall of Jerusalem. Tobiah was known for “good deeds”. Kelly pointed out “This can be really confusing, especially when people don’t know the whole story. In Tobiah’s case whatever his good deeds were couldn’t make up for his heart”. Tobiah sent Nehemiah a letter to intimidate Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 6:19)
“Good deeds, whatever they may be, never trump a heart that deceives, mocks, or uses intimidation. In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees did all kinds of righteous acts before men, but Jesus described their hears as being far from Him (Mark 7:6)”
Kelly then went on to sum it up best!
“Personally, this kind of stuff just kills me. An enemy is one thing, but an insider-friend turned sympathetic to your nemesis because your nemesis has duped him or her with spiffy acts of kindness is insufferable!”
Amen sister! Kelly Minter just nailed it! I recently had a discussion with someone who reads MBF and she was struggling with letting friends go that had turned and started believing her abuser. I think we have all struggled to let the friends go that choose to support him. Its so hard to see them take his side. Isn’t it?
An important take away Kelly Minter pointed out -
“The encouragement I can take away from Nehemiah is that he didn’t appear to get all hung up in self-defense. He wasn’t thrown off course. This is subtle but huge.”
Sometimes we feel such a need to defend what happened in the abusive home we once lived in or saw our friend live in. I remember defending Kara saying “I was there, I heard it, I saw it with my eyes”. Being there and defending what I had seen meant absolutely nothing to those who would take his side. I wanted to go on a crusade to point out everything he did wrong. The fact is, in the end it didn’t matter anyhow. They believed him, had him to Thanksgiving dinner, birthday parties, listened, hugged and loved on the abuser. Nothing I said mattered in the end any how and I wasted my breath on people who never truly cared to begin with (despite the fake tears and pretend concern they would offer here and there). I realized the energy I spent defending was a waste of time. I catch myself getting hung up in it from time to time and this message from Nehemiah was the PERFECT reminder to not get “thrown off course”.