“Listen…you will be encouraged.” Jdg 7:11 NIV
Are you being criticized? Has it shaken your confidence? God told Gideon, “If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp…and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged” (vv. 10-11 NIV). Why did God send Gideon and his servant into the enemy camp? To hear what they were saying, and to encourage him. When they arrived, a soldier was telling a friend about his dream: “‘A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent…collapsed.’ His friend responded, ‘This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon…God has given…the whole camp into his hands.’ When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he…worshiped” (vv. 13-15 NIV). Sometimes when you need encouragement, it’s good to pay attention to what your critics are saying. As Dale Carnegie observed, “Nobody kicks a dead dog!” You’re making a difference—otherwise, they wouldn’t even notice you. Seen through this framework, criticism can actually strengthen your faith. For every battle, God has a strategy. So don’t just pray for victory; ask God to show you the winning strategy. A God-given vision will always be greater than the person who is called to fulfil it. The Bible says, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps 127:1). God knows the weight load you can handle, the materials you need, and how it will all fit together in your life. So if He’s speaking to you and, like Gideon, you’re afraid to act, stand on this verse: “I will be with you, and you will strike down…the [enemy]” (Jdg 6:16 NIV).