When I was in my college Master’s program, I was constantly annoyed that my professors kept assigning “reflection journals” and “debriefing cohorts.” Anytime we had a class discussion, or did even the most minor activity, we had to sit for an hour with our classmates and “reflect” (aka: chat about our feelings, complain, argue) about what had been said or done. I found it obnoxious. What was there to discuss? We were spending more time talking about doing things than actually getting anything done!
Maybe that’s the reason that Nehemiah is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. Nehemiah was a doer. He surveyed a situation, decided what needed to be done and then did it. In fact, the word “so” is used 32 times in the book of Nehemiah: “This happened, so I did this..”
Nehemiah is my kind of guy!
Nehemiah was an ordinary man with a job in the king’s court. But when he heard a report that the people who had gone back to build up the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity were struggling dramatically, he had the same choice that you and I have when we hear a bad report. He could say, “Bless their hearts, that’s too bad! I’ll be praying for them” and continue on his way, he could have started complaining to everyone around him about how the people who had gone back were doing everything wrong, or he could do something.
Nehemiah’s heart was broken about what he had heard. The first thing he did was pray, the second thing he did was get himself to Jerusalem and start working on the problem. There’s a lot we can learn from Nehemiah in this regard.
When something negative is happening in our churches or in the “church” as a whole, do we divorce ourselves from it and say, “Not my problem.” Do we start complaining to anyone who will listen? Or do we pray, and then get to work solving the problem?
Our churches have enough apathetic, complaining members. Let’s not join them. You and I can choose to be like Nehemiah and actually make a difference.
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Reading Plan- Week Twenty-Four
Day One- Ezra 10
Day Two- Nehemiah 1
Day Three- Nehemiah 2
Day Four- Nehemiah 3
Day Five- Nehemiah 4