January 24, 2023
Sharing Responsibility

Nehemiah - Then Eliashib the high priest and the other priests started to rebuild at the Sheep Gate… People from the town of Jericho worked next to them, and beyond them was Zaccur… The Fish Gate was built by the sons of Hassenaah… Meremoth… repaired the next section of wall. Beside him were Meshullam… and then Zadok... Next were the people from Tekoa.... The Old City Gate was repaired by Joiada… and Meshullam… Next to them were Melatiah from Gibeon, Jadon from Meronoth, people from Gibeon, and people from Mizpah… Next was Uzziel… who also worked on the wall. Beyond him was Hananiah... Next Jedaiah … repaired the wall across from his own house, and next to him was Hattush… Then came Malkijah… and Hasshub… who repaired another section of the wall and the Tower of the Ovens. Shallum… and his daughters repaired the next section. (Nehemiah 3:1-12)


If it’s everyone’s responsibility, then it’s no one’s responsibility. One of the keys to completing big projects is dividing them up into tasks and then assigning people to oversee and accomplish each of those specific tasks. Whether we’re leading or participating in a project, most of us want to know who is responsible for each part of the project. But sometimes in life, this doesn’t happen.
Picture this in your mind: Nehemiah holds a big pep rally where he gets everyone excited about rebuilding the walls and the gates of Jerusalem. At the end of that gathering, Nehemiah stands and says, “Now, everyone just go start working wherever you want to work on the wall. Hopefully it will all come together in the end.” Is that what Nehemiah did? Certainly it isn’t. That wouldn’t have worked well at all.
Picture this second scenario. Nehemiah finishes the pep rally and shouts out “Now let’s all go together to one section of the wall and let’s all try to work on the same part of the wall at the same time.” Is that what happened? No, it isn’t. If it had been, there would have been confusion, chaos, and everyone walking over one another.
The key word in this scripture passage is "section". It's used thirteen times. Nehemiah walked around the wall and divided it all up almost counter clockwise. In organization, keep it simple, work with those who want to work and then make specific assignments. This is called  Delegation. In order to delegate well, we need to (1) break down major goals into smaller tasks, (2) develop clear job descriptions and expectations, (3) Match the right people with the right tasks. Remember, if it’s everyone’s responsibility, it’s no one’s responsibility. So delegate well.


Think of a project you are in charge of. Are there tasks within the project you could delegate to others? Write down how you could make this work with the right people at the right time. If you’re leading your family through these devotions, discuss a family project that can be shared with everyone in the family. Then pray for God’s guidance in how you should proceed.


 Lord, please give me wisdom and discernment and help me be willing to release the right tasks to the right people at the right time. In Jesus name, Amen.

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