3 Lessons on working

Rachel was our first child to be assigned lead on kitchen duty. When she left for college, Jerad stepped into the role as head of KP. When college called Jerad away, Aaron moved up the ladder. Sadly the job title has now reverted back to Gary and I.

As a parent, I want my children to know basic skills for living and to understand work is involved in running a household. I also want them to know that to complete the work, everyone should contribute to carrying his or her share of the load. My hope is this principle follows them into their future household and jobs.

The same principle holds true in the church and in ministry. I love how God can take even a chapter like Nehemiah 3 and teach me valuable lessons.

Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding of the walls. In chapter 3, we find an accounting of the work- who worked and on what sections. Three groups drew my attention.

First, I noticed the High priest and his fellow priests were the first to pick up tools and get started.

Second, from the men of Tekoa I noticed 2 distinctive groups, the nobles and the workers. The nobles “would not put their shoulders to the work under the supervisors.” (Nehemiah 3: 5) Yet from Tekoa we also find diligent workers who completed 2 sections (v5 and 27).

Third, we find the inclusion of everyone. In this male focused time period we see

“Shallum… repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.” Nehemiah 3:12

Many names and wall sections are detailed yet God lifted these three groups to remind me of these vital truths:

  1. To lead is to serve first. Over and over Jesus lived out this truth. With a servant’s heart, our Savior led his disciples and gave his life for us. If we are to lead, we must serve- at work, at home, and at church.
  2. Pride has no place in God’s work. Multiple times we read how God dislikes prideful people but gives grace to the humble.
  3. God’s work takes all of us working together; Men and women, young and old, every race and people’s group. Jerusalem’s wall would have remained down without people working together. Our tasks as Christians and as a church are to be a light in the world, to let God’s love touch others through us, and to share the good news of Jesus. To be most effective, we need to learn to work together.

Lord, thank you for bringing your Word to life for us, even in a listing of workers and repairs. God, I need to be reminded to lead through service, the seek humility, and to work with all my brothers and sisters for your glory. Help me to grow in each of these areas for your Name’s sake. Amen

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