Work With Those Who Want To Work

January 23, 2023
Work With Those Who Want To Work

Nehemiah - “Next were the people from Tekoa, though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors.” (Nehemiah 3:5)


A lesson many of us learn in life is that when it’s time to “get to work,” it’s best to “go to work” with “those who want to work.” A lot of people never learn this. They spend their days trying to corral the lazy and the apathetic instead of working with those who truly want to work. When Nehemiah began the work on the Jerusalem walls, almost everyone was  involved. Every willing and able bodied person was put to work in one way or another. Religious leaders, men and women, young and old, city and country people, perfume makers, goldsmiths, government and business leaders, white collar, blue collar, gold collar, and no collar people all jumped in to help. Everyone was put to work making and moving bricks. Everyone was put to work making, stirring, and transporting mortar. Everyone that is, except one small group.

Nehemiah writes "The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors." (Nehemiah 3:5) These guys thought they were too good to work. They thought the work of making and moving bricks was beneath them. Nehemiah doesn't say what excuse they gave, but in every church, community, and workplace you can find these kinds of people - Hot shots who refuse to work. Someone once said, “There will always be two kinds of people, the ‘workers’ and the ‘shirkers.’” Nehemiah had a lot of workers but he also had his fill of shirkers.

Nehemiah’s response to the shirkers (non-workers) was to ignore them. He didn’t focus on those who were not willing to work. He focused on those who were willing to work. Nehemiah didn't lose sleep, get bitter, or waste time trying to corral the non-workers. Instead, he worked with those who were ready to work. We shouldn’t worry about or even focus on those who DON’T want to work or be involved. Instead, we should be concerned about and focused on those who DO want to work and be involved.

We should always strive to work with people who want to work. However, that's a hard lesson to learn. Often, people who plan projects, work parties, and church events focus on the people who don’t show up to work and serve instead of enjoying and working alongside the people who did show up to work. We should love everyone, but move with the movers. In every workplace, family, church, and organization, there ARE people who are willing to be involved who ARE ready to work. We should all focus on these people instead of on those who spend their time making excuses.


How do you respond when it’s time to go to work? Are you a worker or a shirker? Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten with one being a full fledged shirker and ten being a top notch worker. Pray and ask the Lord to help you be willing the next time He sends someone to enlist your help. If you’re leading your family through this devotion time, guide each of them to answer the same question about themselves, then pray as a family that you would all be good workers instead of shirkers.


Lord, help me be a person who is ready and willing to work to serve You and the others around me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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