“And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work.” Nehemiah 4:15
It’s been said that one of the greatest tests of leadership is how you handle opposition. Trust me, if you’re a leader, you will encounter opposition. When I go for long periods of time without opposition, I begin to worry why. And, it’s not the opposition that seems to trip me up as much as where and from whom the opposition occasionally comes, like people you actually trusted.
Well, Nehemiah modeled the right response:
* Rely totally on God.
* Respect the opposition (this is hard to do).
* Reinforce his weak points (first admit and identify them).
* Reassured the people (sheep get weary at times when there’s silence in the storms)
* Refuse to quit (help me on this one, Lord).
* Renew the people’s strength continually.
Much like some of us, Nehemiah had to deal with problems from the outside (people who didn’t have a vested interest in anything he was doing). He dealt with ridicule, resistance and rumor. Does any of that sound familiar? Nehemiah also dealt with disputes about food, property, and taxes (and I get the tax argument).
So, what can be learned from this faithful and courageous leader? PERSISTENCE is the ultimate gauge of our leadership. I’m not about to say it’s an easy task, but, the secret it to outlast our critics. WE MUST stay committed to God and to His ultimate calling!