Num. 14:6-10 - Joshua... and Caleb…, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation… “If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. “Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel.
The other ten spies were very negative and critical of accomplishing this feat and they made it known to all who would listen to them.
You will see the 10 negative spies were able to persuade the Israelites to stone Joshua and Caleb. When they were about to stone them the glory of the Lord appeared and the attempted stoning stopped.
Leadership 101 teaches some very specific lessons.
We were on 2 acres of property and the extra land would allow us to grow.
There were 60 people in attendance for the congregational meeting that night. This was my first real taste of seeing Christians act like the children of Israel.
There was one couple in particular who made numerous accusations about me and my character. I had never heard Christians speak like this before.
This was the first time in my ministry I was compared to the infamous Jim Jones. After this man was through his wife stood up and reiterated everything her husband had said.
This meeting lasted less than an hour but it felt like a week.
When no one else had any questions or comments we took a vote and it was 58-2 in favor of purchasing the land.
I believe with all my heart God used those two negative and critical people to His glory.
I had a family of four adults approach me after the vote. They informed me that when they walked into the meeting they didn't know how they were going to vote, but after listening to the husband and wife they knew they were not going to align with them.
I always believed there were probably others who walked in that night thinking the same way. Once they heard negative Nathan and Nellie they went the opposite direction.
We did grow. Every critical statement that was made about me that night was proven to be incorrect.
In fact, I was able to use the negative criticism as a form of motivation. If I may encourage you today let me say this, "When you're criticized don't quit trying to accomplish your goal. Allow the criticism to motivate you to say, "Okay! We will see who is correct, you or me."
The Israelites had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years because of their unbelief.
After 40 years they enter into the Promised Land just like Joshua and Caleb said they could 40 years earlier. We hear the names Joshua and Caleb mentioned often in our world today, but we never hear the men who were negative mentioned.
Always remember criticism comes with the territory when you are a leader. Leaders will be criticized and leaders will be motivated by criticism.
Think on These:
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.