READ : Nehemiah 5:14-19
. . . I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because of the heavy burden of labor on the people. (v. 18)
There is an old adage that says never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself. Is there anything more annoying than the politician who raises taxes and then votes him- or herself a pay increase? What about the general who dines well while his troops in the field go hungry? Nobody wants to follow these kinds of leaders.
Nehemiah was the kind of leader everyone wanted to follow because he was always willing to do what he asked of others. As governor, he was entitled to more food and physical comforts than the ordinary public. By refusing to claim those privileges he sent a message to the people that said he was no better than they were, and that he was willing to make personal sacrifices to get the job done.
Do your children see you doing the same things that you make them do? Do your coworkers see a lifestyle that matches your beliefs? Are you willing to give up earthly comforts for higher purposes? The world doles out perks to those who earn them. As Christians, we must be willing to give them all up for the gospel’s sake.
Lord, give us a humble spirit when called upon to sacrifice. Amen.