“Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone.
It generally requires action. … By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow.”
~ Andy Stanley, bestselling author and 2014 WorkMatters Leadercast speaker
How many times have you found yourself in a situation at work that bred fear into the hearts of you and your co-workers? Budget cuts, reductions in force, organizational changes or a drop in revenue – all of these circumstances are a breeding ground for fear. Unfortunately that fear can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially when people are distracted or even paralyzed from taking productive action to deal with what’s happening around them.
That’s what happened to the Israelites in Jerusalem. The walls of their city had been destroyed. They had no protection and they had no hope – that is, until one man, Nehemiah, made the 800-mile journey to be the catalyst for action to restore the city walls as well as their dignity.
“… Come, let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a disgrace. Then I told them of
the hand of my God which was upon me for good, and also the words that the king had spoken to me.
And they said, Let us rise up and build! So they strengthened their hands for the good work.”
The Israelites had lived in ruins for over 100 years. And in 52 days, the wall of Jerusalem, their hope and their faith in God were restored because of one man’s resolve to do whatever it took to lead and encourage the people to rebuild the city.
The word “encourage” means to give support, confidence or hope to someone. Leaders can inspire the transformation of a group of people who were hopeless and fearful into people who have the courage to take the actions necessary to change their circumstances. That’s what Nehemiah did for the Israelites.
What challenging circumstances are you and your co-workers facing? You have a choice to give into fear or turn to God. Trust God and let Him show you who you can encourage today. Then watch the difference it makes!