Nehemiah 3:5 - Next were the men from Tekoa, but their leaders were lazy and didn’t help. (TLB)
Devotional Series: Overcoming Laziness
Nehemiah is one of my favourite books in the Bible. It reminds me of what can be achieved when everyone gets involved in building the Church. It reminds me that God takes note of every contribution no matter how big or small. Those who contributed a lot to the building of the Temple are mentioned alongside those who could only contribute to the sections near their homes.
In today’s passage, we see that those who refused to contribute despite being leaders are also ‘remembered’. As a leader, the people under your authority will always remember whether you got involved with a difficult task or just left them to get on with it. The Living Bible translates the lack of help from the leaders of the men Tekoa as laziness. Other translations suggest that the leaders lacked humility or were uninterested in supporting the work.
Nehemiah 3:5 - Next to them the men from Tekoa made repairs. However, the nobles wouldn’t lower themselves to work under supervisors. (GW)
Nehemiah 3:5 - Next to him the men of Tekoa repaired the wall. However, their important people would not humble themselves in service to their lord. (EHV)
Nehemiah 3:5 - Moreover, next to him the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not support the work of their masters. (NASB)
Whether it was laziness, pride, or aloofness - none are characteristics worth holding on to as a leader. This is not to say that there will be instances where leaders will not be able to get involved in manual or difficult tasks because they are genuinely busy. But as leaders, we ought to be interested in supporting the work of those we are leading and where possible or necessary we should also be ready to roll up our sleeves and get involved.
Questions to think about: Am I a lazy leader? Am I aloof and detached from the work of those who report to me? How would the people I lead describe my level of interest and commitment to what they are doing? Am I a self-serving leader?