Remember me with favor, O my God. Nehemiah 6:31 (NIV 1984)
Four times Nehemiah asks that the Lord “remember” him for his faithful and sacrificial leadership (Nehemiah 5:19; 13:14, 22, 31). Nehemiah entrusted the lasting impact and any possible reward for his labors to the Lord who sees all and rewards those who are faithful (see Hebrews 11:6; Matthew 25 – Parable of the Talents; Luke 19 – Parable of the 10 Gold Coins). Unfortunately, for many leaders, we seek to ensure that we get the credit, reward, accolades, and affirmation of success we think are due us, rather than leaving those outcomes to the Lord.
Here’s several spiritual checks that help keep us on the right path:
- We all want to be well-thought-of. That’s natural. But, do we tend to grab the ‘spotlight’ and make sure that it is shining directly upon us? Can we share the spotlight with others, acknowledging their contribution in our success?
- Leaders often sacrifice much – many times without the knowledge of others. Is it enough that Jesus sees my sacrifices and the hard work I put in? Or, do I need to let others know of my labors on their behalf, seeking words or deeds of appreciation back from them?
- Can I trust Jesus that He not only sees my labor and sacrifice, but that He will also reward me in His way and in His time for my labor?
- How important is it that I get the credit for any successes or contributions?
- Do I see my leadership as a right or a privilege? Do I have a sense of stewardship of my leadership responsibility – a responsibility that one day I will have to give an account to God for?
Jesus says in Luke 17:7-10 – “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ”
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV 1984)