There are times when you are so committed to your work that you are willing to fight for it.
Reference: v.17b Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other. (NIV Bible
Explore: I would not describe myself as an aggressive person. The other day I was filling out a ‘Strengths questionnaire’. For each question there were four statements listed and I had to choose the one statement which was most like me and the another which was least like me. I found the task quite challenging, particularly when one of the statements read “Assertive, aggressive.” Now, on the one hand I would definitely say I am assertive however I would not consider myself very aggressive at all. Do I put this statement as my ‘most like’ or ‘least like’ characteristic?? Thankfully it was not a million dollar question so my answer was not crucial. However, as I was reading this passage in Nehemiah I found it quite confronting that the people had to carry their weapons even as they worked in case someone attacked them. These were laborers and tradesmen who were assertive enough to come and contribute to the building of the wall. Did they want to refrain from helping because they weren’t the aggressive type? Did they question the occupational health and safety scheme if they were carrying tools as well as weapons?
Application: I guess there are times when you are so committed to your work that you are willing to fight for it. Even if you are not aggressive you are prepared to defend your work. We can be defensive of our own lives, even though we may never pick up a weapon. At times we can make faith decisions that may not make sense to other people. We hold-fast and defend these choices because of an eternal significance, rather than any present advantage. I may not be aggressive but I am willing to stand firm in my faith and defend the choices I have made to live a more Christ-like life.
Prayer: Lord, your death on the cross is a reminder of how far you will go for humanity. May we be as committed to our faith in proclaiming you as Lord. Amen.
When have you felt that you’ve had to defend yourself and your position?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.