On Nehemiah…

Truth to be told, there are certain books in the Bible that I’ve almost never read. In fact, I only got to know that there is a “Paul’s Epistle to Philemon” in the New Testament (and I have been a Christian for 6 years!!). 


I am not too sure how many of you have actually read the Book of Nehemiah (obviously I did, just not too often). While it is certainly less obscure than “Philemon” (IMO), it is also not one of those better known books like Genesis, Revelations, Psalms, The 4 Gospels etc… that gets quoted a lot in Christian books or sermons.

But there is this particular verse I have always like, and often used it to remind myself to stay focused on the task at hand and not allow unconstructive criticisms to detract me.

(Neh 6:3-4 NIV)
…so I (Nehemiah) sent messengers to them (Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem) with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.

In this story, Nehemiah was busy rebuilding the Wall in Jerusalem when the trio of Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem (who were against the Jews) continously tried to thwart him through various ways and means. Chapter 6 talked about one of these occassions in which the STG attempted to get him away from his work by inviting him to a debate (over a cup of Middle-Eastern coffee, I presume?) but Nehemiah declined the not-so-kind invitation with the above verses.

Notice Nehemiah talked about not “going down” to them. While I am sure it had a literal meaning to it (he should be standing on a scaffolding of some sort at that time), it also conveyed the idea that he refused to go down to the level of the trio (by dropping his work at hand and go arguing with them).

Now, if you are convinced of the value of your work or your method of working, let not anyone, not even (and especially) those in positions of authority to tell you otherwise. They may be more experienced, but haven’t we all heard of the saying, “it is difficult for old dogs to learn new tricks?”. And old dogs that refused to learn new tricks shouldn’t be allowed to raise puppies (credit to Dan Kennedy).

See to it that you remain at your high level… 



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