Influence | What Makes You Contagious?
I had never before appeared sad in his presence. So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad?” Neh. 2:2
Nehemiah had a dozen reasons to look sad every day. A Jew taken captive by the Babylonians, he was forced to work for the conquering king. But if mad/sad/vengeful/hostile had been his normal expression, the king would not have noticed anything different. If Nehemiah had glared when he served the wine, mumbled under his breath, gossiped to the other slaves, or been shoddy in his service, the king wouldn’t have cared why he looked sad. But because he had been a trustworthy worker, the king took notice. Nobody sauntered up to the king of Babylon with a “Yo, King. I got a problem.” Those who tried lost their heads. Literally. Instead, Nehemiah earned the attention of the one in authority over him by being a pleasant, faithful worker.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Nehemiah was doing that and God rewarded him. “But you don’t know my boss!” some argue. “I hate my job!” “This work is beneath my skill level.” “No one else does their best, so why should I clean up their messes?” We may have a dozen reasons to mope, grumble, or shirk in our duties, but when we do we forfeit future opportunities. When we apply God’s word and God’s standard to everything we do, He honors our faithfulness. Then when a real problem presents, our concern is noticed and given more consideration. We earn the attention of those in authority by speaking and acting as if Jesus was our boss and He was evaluating our performance.
Does your usual demeanor indicate that you are working for the Lord?
Father, I haven’t treated my job as an assignment from you. I grumble and sometimes shirk if I can get away with it. I want people to see you in me, so I will do my work as if I’m working for you. Help me earn respect. In Jesus’ name, Amen.