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Two Principles That Will Change Your Perspective

Nehemiah was a man of influence and wealth who couldn’t enjoy all that he had knowing his people were suffering. He left a cushy job to rebuild a wall around a city that was a disaster area populated by refugees.

Nehemiah labored with the people, contended with Israel’s enemies, and settled community disputes. Nehemiah also served as their governor. As such, they offered him the money and power that came with that position. It would be difficult to argue that Nehemiah wasn’t entitled to every bit of it.

But Nehemiah refused it all. This decision wasn’t based on feelings, but on two essential principles:

Nehemiah had reverence for God (Nehemiah 5:15).

Nehemiah had compassion on the people (Nehemiah 5:18).

Awe of God always produces humility. Humility instills compassion, and compassion inevitably leads to generosity.

The two principles that shaped Nehemiah’s character are the same two principles Jesus instructed us to to follow. When asked which commandment was the greatest, Jesus told us to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40).

Imagine how positively we could transform our communities if we, like Nehemiah, didn’t focus on what we are entitled to, but managed our resources with humility and generosity. Our cities, our state and our country would never be the same.


  • What’s one way someone else’s generosity made a difference in your life? How did that make you feel?
  • What’s one resource you have right now that you could use to show compassion to someone in need?

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