Having been in ministry for 46 years, I have seen that perspiration is often as important as inspiration! People often think of their successful friends as “lucky” or “more talented.” However, they rarely make the connection between their own work-ethic and their success. A lazy, passive, self-pitying work ethic leaves you negative, blaming, unsuccessful…and usually broke! Nehemiah and his men had a “mind to work” (Neh. 4: 6). Those hard-working men built a huge wall in 52 days! They barely slept, they stayed in their clothing, they built while holding a sword, and they amazed the devil’s crowd.
What were the secrets of Nehemiah’s great work ethic?
1. Set your MIND to work
- The people first said, “Let us arise and build.” Lay out your work from start to finish before you begin. Get the four “M’s” for every project: “money, method, manpower, and materials.”
- You must see an inspired vision of what you want to accomplish. Getting a vision of the entire project will keep you motivated as pieces go together.
2. Work SMARTER
- Nehemiah gave each family a share of the wall to build. Don’t try to do a whole project by yourself. Make it the work of a team and it will succeed.
- Every person did their share and did not try to do it all. Stay in your lane, perform your function and do your job with excellence.
4. Never be DISCOURAGED
- The Ammonites stood there and mocked them the entire time they worked! The workplace is full of people who spread the word that a project is impossible to achieve.
- The men of Judah said, “We’re failing…it’s too much…we will not be able to finish” (4:10). Pessimistic, negative talkers rarely work. Their whole job is to keep others from working. I love the sign when you enter the state of Mississippi: “Only positive Mississippian spoken here!”
5. Establish BENCHMARKS
- Nehemiah recorded that the people had the wall up to “half it’s height” (4:6). You must set benchmarks for success.
- Little marks of accomplishment that are reached encourage you along the way. You eat an elephant “one bite at a time!” Set a daily, a weekly, and a monthly goal toward completing a large project.
6. Don’t get DISTRACTED
- Nothing is more deadly to your productivity than distraction. The enemy will send those along who are full of rumors, drama, and “workplace politics.” They scare everyone with rumors of failure, layoffs, and shutdowns.
- Nehemiah refused every rumor and scare tactic. He persevered through the psychological warfare, the temptation to quit, and the fear of reprisal.
- Winston Church said, “Never give in—never, never, never, never—never give in!” Hold your nerve, be “cast iron,” keep plowing, don’t stop until sundown!
Check out your work ethic. Shed the weights of discouragement and distraction. Set your goals, plan your work, and let’s BUILD THIS WALL!
How do you know if you are actually working smarter? The secret to multiplication is order. Read more below: