I am reading through and studying Nehemiah. I know the Old Testament is not a place many camp out for an extended period for one reason or another, but I really felt like I needed to just sit in Nehemiah for a while.
I am not going to go summarize Nehemiah here. It is short enough for you to read it in one sitting if you really want to–which I would highly recommend. I do want share a really important insight God revealed to me while reading through Nehemiah 5.
In this chapter Nehemiah deals with the injustice of the wealthy oppressing the poor. They are excising interest on their own people on land that has been mortgaged out. Nehemiah calls for reform and challenges the people to forgive the debts, return the land to the people, and stop charging interest. The people respond and vow to do so in the sight of God and the priests.
The reform does not stop there though. In the next section, Nehemiah outlines the steps he took himself to help the poor.
This is the section that struck me. In the midst of the upheaval of trying to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem, govern the people as a leader, and defend their progress Nehemiah is making a statement about what leaders should value amidst adversity: determination, humility, and generosity. These three character traits are imperative if any leader wants to introduce change and shape a new way for a culture to think.
Determined – Nehemiah was determined to finish the project he was sent to do. He never stopped rebuilding the wall. He never quit on the vision he had. Our leaders must never lose sight of their ultimate vision. They must always continue to take steps forward regardless of the opposition or setbacks.
Humble – Nehemiah continually sought the wisdom of God. The record is filled with Nehemiah praying for the nation of Israel and for himself. He never lost perspective on who is ultimately in charge. Our leaders must never lose sight of who is ultimately in charge. They are placed in their positions by the sovereign God of the universe. This is not be taken lightly and should influence how they lead.
Generosity – Nehemiah was generous with what was entitled to him. When he was given what was entitled to him he took a smaller portion. He did not lord his position over others; he took a small amount so he could be generous in everything else. Our leaders should always be looking to give more than they expect to get back. Selfishness is not leadership; generosity breeds a culture that will follow.
Amidst a heated political season, God reminded me that these are the qualities essential to leadership to change. Both candidates are standing on platforms of change; so it really does not matter which one is chosen because both will need these qualities to effectively lead.
For the following months this is what I will be praying for in the life of the future President of the United States. Which candidate is insignificant, because we need leaders who are determined to move forward, humble before God, and generous towards the people.
Will you join with me and praying for determination, humility, and generosity for our next President?