Imagine having a comfortable life and in a position of influence. You have worked hard. God has blessed you with confidence, good morals, a good work ethic, and a few breaks have come your way. It’s not that life is without its challenges. People in positions of influence always have challenges. It’s just that you have been rewarded for steadfastness.
But then a messenger from your hometown comes and gives a report to your boss. Your company works in your hometown and it formed you. The town your co-worker reports is in shambles. The places where commerce is supposed to help with flourishing are destroyed. Leadership in the town is corrupt. The people are facing unemployment. How do you respond? Do you stay in your comfortable position of power? Or do you go back and invest in your hometown?
Nehemiah had that very challenge in the Old Testament. He had a comfortable place in the King’s palace. He had influence even though he was an immigrant. He was blessed with wisdom and hard work. Yet a report came that Jerusalem was in chaos. Its walls and gates were in disarray. Walls and gates in the ancient world both protected the city and provided places of business for people to live prosperous lives. Leadership was corrupt and people faced devastating unemployment.
So Nehemiah left his comfortable position of power, and decided to use his power for the flourishing of others. Power in the Bible is a corruptive force if used for one’s gain. Look at some of the examples of the kings of Israel who used power handed to them by God for their own gain. However, power in the Bible is a force for good when it is given away. We have all been given the same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead. Are we giving it away?