READ Nehemiah 7:1-2
We live in a world full of fame seekers. Our TV stations are packed with reality shows where thousands upon thousands of people pitch for their moment in the limelight. And the world of media is not the only place we see it. In the business world, people climb over the top of each other, leaving their morals at the door, in order to ascend the corporate ladder. Meanwhile even students seek promotion to team captain or society leader and wear their badges with pride. It seems that promotion is the god of our day. We are all in pursuit of it because it is the world’s chief indicator of success.
But it isn’t God’s way. While living in this world it is so important that we don’t allow it’s values to seep into our characters overtaking God’s priorities.
In this chapter, Nehemiah gives us a helpful measurement of success, the measure of faithfulness. In Jerusalem it is time to promote some people into a position of influence. Two men are selected to rule the city, Hanani and Hananiah. Out of all the men capable of the job, why are these two chosen? Because they had integrity and feared God: in other words faithfulness. They were faithful in their community and faithful in their walk. As a result, promotion came as a natural part of their progress.
God wants his people to be in hot pursuit of faithfulness. The Bible frequently urges us to be faithful with what God has placed in our hands already. When God sees faithfulness, he follows it up with promotion, but it never happens the other way round.
So maybe it is time for a reality check. How are we doing on the faithfulness scale? Are we being faithful to the people God has placed around us, to the work God has given us, are we being faithful to God? Surely the world would have to sit up and take notice of a group of people who didn’t bully or push their way to the top, but were more concerned about their integrity than their personal advancement.
God, help me to consistently pursue faithfulness and not promotion. Amen.