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For The People

For The People

11 October 2009

Scripture:

14 I would like to mention that for the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah—from the twentieth until the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes—neither I nor my officials drew on our official food allowance. 16 I devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my officials to spend time working on the wall. 19 Remember, O my God, all that I have done for these people, and bless me for it. (Nehemiah 5:14, 16, 19 NLT)

Nehemiah is such a great example of leadership courage and integrity! I’m thankful that God included some pages from his journal in the Bible. Here are some of the things that impress me about his leadership:
* He cared about the needs of the people and took time to deal with injustice even when under pressure during the wall project and facing opposition to his work and his leadership.
* He didn’t take advantage of the people or of the privileges of power. In fact instead of using his power as governor to line his pockets, he paid the costs of government himself.
* He refused to be discouraged over opposition from outside the city, conflict inside the walls, or disloyalty on the part of those who were supposed to be helping him.
* He reminded God of the situation and looked only to God for reward and blessing.

Lessons for me:
* It’s so easy to get discouraged when things aren’t going as we planned or when people disagree with our ideas.
* Being in a place of authority always brings opportunity to use power for personal gain and with the opportunity comes some degree of temptation.
* The pressure of responsibility can make a leader lose the sensitivity and compassion to care for the needs of the least fortunate.

Nehemiah’s courage, integrity, and care for the people is a challenging example to me and to all leaders.

Prayer:

Father, help me to carry Nehemiah’s example of godly leadership. I want to be brave and strong, full of integrity, sensitive to the needs of others, and always and only trusting you for recognition and reward. Amen.

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