Generous Life Devotional - Apr. 29, 2014

Don’t Let the Naysayers Get You Down

Verse: Ezra 4:4-5

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.


I have been involved in several large transformational efforts—God-sized visions like:  ending homeless in a community, making sure every child in a community can flourish, building homes for devastated countries, and evangelism projects that engage an entire city.

One of the things that I’ve noticed in projects of this size (where it takes tremendous amounts of faith, generosity, and involvement to be successful), there is always someone – often more than one – who is a constant voice saying “It isn’t going to work.” “You don’t understand that in our community, our churches have never been united.” Or a dozen other reasons that God isn’t able to do the impossible.

Let’s face it:

Generosity takes faith.

... and faith takes on the perceived risk.

... or you wouldn’t need faith, would you?

In the time of Ezra, the nation of Judah set out to build a temple to the Lord God of Israel. But they allowed the naysayers – the people of their community – to distract and frighten them. They went as far as bribing and frustrating the plans and the work unto the Lord.

So, it shouldn’t catch you too off-guard to find that some will try to frustrate ... and even stop ... your generosity efforts.

But here’s what might surprise you.

Sometimes the very people who try to frustrate you are seated next to you in church. That’s right! ... fellow Christians. ... maybe even ministry leaders.

Here’s what we did.  We simply smiled and encouraged them to join with us in God’s effort to make a difference in people’s lives.

Just remember – you’ve heard me say it before – you can’t out give God.

In time, you’ll find those very naysayers participating! ... and all the while, high-fiving one another about how good it is to be generous.

Today’s Challenge:

Sometime back, I encouraged you to develop a generosity vision.

How’s that coming? Have you experienced resistance yet? Have you found naysayers along the way? And how has it affected your efforts? Did today’s devotional come just in time for you?

Write your thoughts down here at

For more from Generous Life, visit, and listen to Generous Life Radio at!

  • Editors' Picks

    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
  • The God of All Weather
    The God of All Weather
  • Does Islam Promote Violence?
    Does Islam Promote Violence?