Tough Love Leading
Today's reading: Nehemiah 13:1-31
Nehemiah's leadership skills rise to the surface again in Nehemiah 13. Upon returning to Jerusalem, Nehemiah discovers that his Jewish brothers and sisters have fallen away from following God's Law in a number of areas, but particularly in the area of Sabbath and the house of God. Nehemiah is greatly angered over what he observes and finds taking place. So he harnesses that anger, and then sets out to right the situation using tough love as he confronts the priests, officials, nobles, and the people, and he puts in place corrective action and measures.
Most of us try to avoid confrontation at all costs. But confrontation, when it is handled properly, can be a good thing, and there are going to be times when confrontation is absolutely necessary to right a situation that has gone bad. Nehemiah didn't return to Jerusalem looking for a fight. But when he arrived and discovered what was taking place that was contrary to God's Law, he confronted the people responsible for the problems he observed, speaking the truth to them because of his great love for God and God's people.
Do you find confronting others difficult? Why or why not? What's one lesson about confrontation and/or tough love you learned or observed from today's passage? What's an example from your own life where confrontation (either you confronting another or you being confronted) was necessary and brought about good? Tami
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