Back to building the wall…courageous leadership

Over Christmas I have been reading an amazing story, I highly recommend this book, of a lady that followed the vision God had given her. The book is Heart of a Lioness, the true story of Mama Irene Gleeson who overcame attack after attack of her vision and ministry from within and without!! She persevered and God saw her thru every attack the enemy brought to her and gave her victory!
It took me back to Nehemiah and the constant battle he was in. People attacked his vision, his wisdom, his credibility, his heart and tried over and over to discourage him.
Nehemiah was made aware of things happening in the land so to speak in chapter 5. He was told that some people were taking advantage of others, and making their lives miserable. They were making them pay extra money for basic things and then causing still others to be put into slavery. Others would loan money to the poor and then make them pay exorbitant interest rates. Nehemiah was ticked, in verse 6 we read ” when I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles”
Here they were working hard to accomplish the vision but within the walls, people were scheming on how to take advantage of others. Nehemiah knew he needed to do something and he could not get angry and go off on people, first he needed to take some time to consider his response.
In the book I am reading there were many times where people tried to sabotage the vision of Mama Irene. Her first emotion was anger and then it was praying and thinking over things before reacting. Then she would act but with a calm heart.
It reminds me of Jesus! There were so many times where people around Him tried to undermine His work and ministry. He became frustrated with those around him from time to time, but in almost every situation he remained calm and stayed on task.
Back to Nehemiah, we read that he told those serving in Judah that they were not to engage in harming the poor any more. In fact hey were supposed to treat them with honor and respect. He led and the people followed suit. Nehemiah says in verse 14 that in his 12 years as governor he never mistreated people. Also in verse 15-16 he says ” out of reverence for God, I did not act like that. Instead I devoted myself to the building of the wall!”
People may attack us as leaders, or may attack the people we are called to serve. We must lead with honor and respect for God, that comes from a reverence for God! If we are attacked instead of reacting out of anger, it is important for us to step back, process and then respond. Otherwise our reactions may not be very God honouring at all!
How will we respond?

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