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GEOFFSHATTOCKweekly

Nehemiah’s mind 45: Damaging your work

Aug
19
2013

Issue 476

Stories sometimes emerge about accidental or deliberate damage done to a priceless piece of artwork.  A picture painstakingly painted over many months is spoiled or defaced by a person with a grudge or a desire to desecrate.  There is something extremely sad about spoiling work.  The more unusual the work the greater the potential loss. You can experience it yourself if a file you have been working on for months becomes corrupted or you lose a vital part of your portfolio. We are looking at the commuting Nehemiah.  He has spent 12 chapters detailing his work of which he is rightly proud.  It is not just his work but the work of thousands.  They have rebuilt, restored, established and populated a vibrant city.  They have celebrated and consecrated and pledged and promised.  They have set their faces to honour their God. Now Nehemiah returns to find promises broken.  They have admitted toxicity into their corporate structure.  They have diverted resources way from God to business to self-centred living and allowed an old enemy into their life. Nehemiah now turns to the next broken promise polluting their working lives. Markets today never sleep.  High powered dealers pride themselves on their full schedules.  Phones are never switched off and you are never inaccessible.  It is not just the office worker who looks at e-mails at the weekend; construction sites are open more and more days in the drive to meet deadlines.  Supermarkets, malls and high streets are full of buyers and sellers every day. Nehemiah needed some very strange words to describe this working practice.  “Wicked” and “desecration”.  Was he against trade?  Was he against wine, gran, grapes, figs, fish or merchandising? Nehemiah was angry about the desecration of Sabbath.  Don’t be fooled here.  He was not advocating a legalistic, enslaving approach to the Jewish Saturday, an approach which exasperated Jesus himself. Look beyond the outward behaviour to the inner reality.  Business needs to rest.  Markets must pause.  People need a break.  Nehemiah saw what the city of David’s greatest King saw – the need to lie down in green pastures, walk beside still waters, so that the soul can be restored. Today there is a drive to a longer hours, always open mentality within our markets with the belief that it will lead to greater prosperity.  Of course, financially, it might, but the cost is paid in soul. With the arrival of the Lord of the Sabbath years later, everyone can be a priest and every day becomes a Sabbath.  Rest and worship become interwoven into all work every day.  That’s Nehemiah’s mind. To work without rest is to spoil it.  To work without worship is to ruin your masterpieces. Please don’t be deceived into thinking that going to church on a Sunday is observing a Sabbath when you go to work on other days and spend ridiculous hours or demand that of your team.  Sabbath thinkers build rest and worship into every day.  They also realise that taking a break one in seven is built into our DNA. Every day is unique.  Your work is your masterpiece.  Whatever you do it has intrinsic value and worth.  It is priceless in that it can only be measured in the currency of the Son of man who rescued your work. Nehemiah’s approach was to warn, to rebuke (especially the bosses), shut gates, post guards, threaten arrest, order purification and rebuild rest and worship into the week. Don’t take all those words in the last paragraph too externally.  Take them into your mind. Your working week is sacred.  Don’t spoil it. Bible Section Nehemiah 13:18-22 Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.” 19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love. Stories sometimes emerge about accidental or deliberate damage done to a priceless piece of artwork. A picture painstakingly painted over many months is spoiled or defaced by a person with a grudge or a desire to desecrate. There is something extremely sad about spoiling work. The more unusual the work the greater the potential loss. You can experience it yourself if a file you have been working on for months becomes corrupted or you lose a vital part of your portfolio. We are looking at the commuting Nehemiah. He has spent 12 chapters detailing his work of which he is rightly proud. It is not just his work but the work of thousands. They have rebuilt, restored, established and populated a vibrant city. They have celebrated and consecrated and pledged and promised. They have set their faces to honour their God. Now Nehemiah returns to find promises broken. They have admitted toxicity into their corporate structure. They have diverted resources way from God to business to self-centred living and allowed an old enemy into their life. Nehemiah now turns to the next broken promise polluting their working lives. Markets today never sleep. High powered dealers pride themselves on their full schedules. Phones are never switched off and you are never inaccessible. It is not just the office worker who looks at e-mails at the weekend; construction sites are open more and more days in the drive to meet deadlines. Supermarkets, malls and high streets are full of buyers and sellers every day. Nehemiah needed some very strange words to describe this working practice. “Wicked” and “desecration”. Was he against trade? Was he against wine, gran, grapes, figs, fish or merchandising? Nehemiah was angry about the desecration of Sabbath. Don’t be fooled here. He was not advocating a legalistic, enslaving approach to the Jewish Saturday, an approach which exasperated Jesus himself. Look beyond the outward behaviour to the inner reality. Business needs to rest. Markets must pause. People need a break. Nehemiah saw what the city of David’s greatest King saw – the need to lie down in green pastures, walk beside still waters, so that the soul can be restored. Today there is a drive to a longer hours, always open mentality within our markets with the belief that it will lead to greater prosperity. Of course, financially, it might, but the cost is paid in soul. With the arrival of the Lord of the Sabbath years later, everyone can be a priest and every day becomes a Sabbath. Rest and worship become interwoven into all work every day. That’s Nehemiah’s mind. To work without rest is to spoil it. To work without worship is to ruin your masterpieces. Please don’t be deceived into thinking that going to church on a Sunday is observing a Sabbath when you go to work on other days and spend ridiculous hours or demand that of your team. Sabbath thinkers build rest and worship into every day. They also realise that taking a break one in seven is built into our DNA. Every day is unique. Your work is your masterpiece. Whatever you do it has intrinsic value and worth. It is priceless in that it can only be measured in the currency of the Son of man who rescued your work. Nehemiah’s approach was to warn, to rebuke (especially the bosses), shut gates, post guards, threaten arrest, order purification and rebuild rest and worship into the week. Don’t take all those words in the last paragraph too externally. Take them into your mind. Your working week is sacred. Don’t spoil it. Stories sometimes emerge about accidental or deliberate damage done to a priceless piece of artwork.  A picture painstakingly painted over many months is spoiled or defaced by a person with a grudge or a desire to desecrate.  There is something extremely sad about spoiling work.  The more unusual the work the greater the potential loss. You can experience it yourself if a file you have been working on for months becomes corrupted or you lose a vital part of your portfolio. We are looking at the commuting Nehemiah.  He has spent 12 chapters detailing his work of which he is rightly proud.  It is not just his work but the work of thousands.  They have rebuilt, restored, established and populated a vibrant city.  They have celebrated and consecrated and pledged and promised.  They have set their faces to honour their God. Now Nehemiah returns to find promises broken.  They have admitted toxicity into their corporate structure.  They have diverted resources way from God to business to self-centred living and allowed an old enemy into their life. Nehemiah now turns to the next broken promise polluting their working lives. Markets today never sleep.  High powered dealers pride themselves on their full schedules.  Phones are never switched off and you are never inaccessible.  It is not just the office worker who looks at e-mails at the weekend; construction sites are open more and more days in the drive to meet deadlines.  Supermarkets, malls and high streets are full of buyers and sellers every day. Nehemiah needed some very strange words to describe this working practice.  “Wicked” and “desecration”.  Was he against trade?  Was he against wine, gran, grapes, figs, fish or merchandising? Nehemiah was angry about the desecration of Sabbath.  Don’t be fooled here.  He was not advocating a legalistic, enslaving approach to the Jewish Saturday, an approach which exasperated Jesus himself. Look beyond the outward behaviour to the inner reality.  Business needs to rest.  Markets must pause.  People need a break.  Nehemiah saw what the city of David’s greatest King saw – the need to lie down in green pastures, walk beside still waters, so that the soul can be restored. Today there is a drive to a longer hours, always open mentality within our markets with the belief that it will lead to greater prosperity.  Of course, financially, it might, but the cost is paid in soul. With the arrival of the Lord of the Sabbath years later, everyone can be a priest and every day becomes a Sabbath.  Rest and worship become interwoven into all work every day.  That’s Nehemiah’s mind. To work without rest is to spoil it.  To work without worship is to ruin your masterpieces. Please don’t be deceived into thinking that going to church on a Sunday is observing a Sabbath when you go to work on other days and spend ridiculous hours or demand that of your team.  Sabbath thinkers build rest and worship into every day.  They also realise that taking a break one in seven is built into our DNA. Every day is unique.  Your work is your masterpiece.  Whatever you do it has intrinsic value and worth.  It is priceless in that it can only be measured in the currency of the Son of man who rescued your work. Nehemiah’s approach was to warn, to rebuke (especially the bosses), shut gates, post guards, threaten arrest, order purification and rebuild rest and worship into the week. Don’t take all those words in the last paragraph too externally.  Take them into your mind. Your working week is sacred.  Don’t spoil it.

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Series: Nehemiah's Mind
Module: 3
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: betrayal, rest, rhythm, sacred

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