6 I became extremely angry when I heard their outcry and these complaints.

Examine / Explain

According to the King, Nehemiah was appointed governor for twelve years over Judah. In this time of rebuilding, complaints arose regarding being taken advantage of by fellow Jews. The fact that they needed money and their own countrymen took advantage of it enraged Nehemiah. Instead of helping your people who just came out of bondage, you gained power. So Nehemiah lived an example of good authority while he was the governor. Not taking everything “due” him as governor, relieving the burden on the people.

How do I apply this to my life?

What do I do if I am in a position of power? Do I look to gain even more power, influence, or wealth? Do I try to help the next person or gain something for myself? Not that I don’t want to earn a good day’s wage. But do I have a giving spirit? My generosity is not usually financial. It should be, but if the Lord created me in a way where giving my time and talent is better, then I should do that. Not that I don’t want to give more financially but I am who I am in Christ. We live in a world that greatly values power and money. These are the things that control that world. There are a lot of bad decisions made over the love of money. I want to live free of the bondage that comes with loving money. I know my struggles in finding salvation if I have a lot of cash in my savings account, but that means I’m putting my faith in my savings account, not Jesus. Also, if I am in any power or authority, am I listening to those who need help? There was an outcry that Nehemiah heard. That means he was somewhat attentive to what was going on around him. Am I attentive? We have the power to hear people, and I don’t just mean the social justice warriors who make the news. I’m talking about the waitress that comes to our table. The cashier in the checkout line. The person in front of you is in the checkout line. We all have the opportunity to encourage and give ourselves away. Be different than the culture and when your order is wrong. SHOW SOME GRACE! That would be the exception, not the rule. I have been the guy not getting mad, and the servers are confounded as to why I’m not blowing my top. But I still need to do better. I need to see people better. To know that they are hurting and that I may be able to offer assistance in some way. But I’m scared of what they might ask for. That’s what is holding me back. FEAR!

What is my response?

Father, I need a sense of a more significant fear. One with a  fear and reverence for you and not a fear of what people might do. It should feel more painful to disobey You than the world. And yet I still struggle with the fear of what people might think of me. Or if they have a legitimate ask that I may have to fill in the ask. And that I have the capability to fill the ask but don’t want to. My flesh is still the ruler of my life in certain areas. Lord, I need to kill off my flesh that is in control. I need to lay down my pride on Your altar. I need to act when looking out for someone else, not just myself. Will I get it right all the time? No! Is there grace for me to try? Yes!



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