Please, Not Another Blog About Leadership!

By: Tim Grissom
So many have said so much on the topic of leadership that I avoid writing about it. Not that I think it’s unimportant, I just don’t know what I could add. But when I consider the actions of Nehemiah, I can’t help myself. The man was a leader, and we can learn from him.

By the time we get to the events of chapter six, Nehemiah has answered God’s call and gone to Jerusalem. He is there to lead the people in rebuilding the walls—which was an early and necessary step in restoring the city. But there were enemies, loudmouthed and deceitful, who wanted nothing more than to see him fail.

Two men, who seemed especially devoted to keeping the city of Jerusalem in ruins, tried to shut down the work by luring Nehemiah to a sham meeting. Being the man of God that he was, Nehemiah recognized their deception and refused. And it is in the wording of his RSVP that we see the interplay of courage and humility that made Nehemiah such a standout leader.
“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
I think an arrogant man would have said something like: Go away! I’m too important to take a meeting with the likes of you. But Nehemiah didn’t think that way. It was the work that he considered important, not himself.

Big difference.

If Nehemiah had been on an ego trip, those mockers would have lit his fuse. If it was all about him, he would have walked off the job to go and defend himself. And the work would have stopped, and the enemy would have won, at least for the moment.

When I put myself in Nehemiah’s work boots, I’m compelled to ask: Is any of the work God calls me to unimportant?

No, it is not.

Every work that God has waiting for us to step into is good. It is what He wants done, and we should approach it that way, whatever it is (see Ephesians 2:10). And let’s do so in the same frame of mind as Nehemiah did: it is the work that is important, not us.

Whether I ever again write about leadership, I hope never to lose track of this lesson from the life of a man named Nehemiah: God doesn’t call important people to humble work, He calls humble people to important work.
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