Skip to main content


Soaring Above the Critics
By Joel Osteen - Oct 12, 2012
I believe God has new levels of freedom for you today. One of the ways you can see yourself go to a higher level is by learning to choose your battles and refusing to fight battles that don't matter. Friend, you don't have to fight every battle. You don't have to respond to every critic. You don't have to be offended because of what someone said. You're not a crow; you're an eagle. You can rise above it. You can soar at new heights.

This is what Nehemiah did. God called him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He and his men got started, but he had two main critics: Sanballat and Tobias. They were constantly criticizing him, spreading rumors, and trying to make him look bad. They said, "Nehemiah is not a builder. He doesn't know what he is doing. If a fox runs on this wall, it's going to fall down."

The whole time, Nehemiah and his men had to listen to these two men belittle them, ridicule them, and make fun of them. What did Nehemiah do? He simply ignored them. He let it go in one ear and out the other. When that didn't work, they went to the city leaders and started spreading lies. They said, "Nehemiah is not building this wall for our good. He's just building a kingdom unto himself." They started questioning his motives. Don't you know that Nehemiah was tempted to come down off that wall and say, "Guys, I'm going to shut you up? I'm going to show you who I am." No, he was smart enough to realize they were a distraction. He chose to ignore them and went on to build that wall in record time.

Anytime God puts a dream in your heart and you start pursuing your goals, you can be sure that the "Sanballats" and the "Tobiases" will show up. The mark of a true champion is knowing which battles to fight. As in this case, many battles should be ignored. Nehemiah knew if he came down off the wall and spent his time and energy, sure, he could have defeated those two men. Sure, that would have made him feel good. But, it would not have advanced him toward his destiny. It would not have helped the wall get built any faster. Bottom line: he chose to be an eagle. He chose to rise above it.

I'm asking us to do the same thing. Be selective as to what you give your attention to. Don't get caught up in battles that don't matter. Let's learn to do like Nehemiah and ignore the Sanballats and Tobiases. Friend, if you will get good at knowing what to ignore and not get distracted by things that don't matter, God will fight your battles. He will promote you, and you will overcome every obstacle and become everything God has created you to be!
Join the Conversation