Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 9:1 through Ezra 10:44, Nehemiah 1:1-2:20
What’s one word your boss would use to describe you?
Nehemiah’s boss probably described him as happy.
Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I (Nehemiah) was serving the king his wind. I had never before appeared sad in his presence. –Nehemiah 2:1 (explanation mine)
How important is a positive, happy attitude in the workplace?
Positive-attitude-tips.com says a resounding “it’s very important” and offered ten benefits of a positive attitude in the workplace:
- Career Success
- Stress Reduction
- Less sick days and better productivity
- Improved customer relations and/or sales
- Become a better leader
- Improve the attitude of other employees or those who report to you
- Improve teamwork
- Improve motivation for yourself and others
- Improve decision-making and overcome challenges
- Improve interpersonal relations
Nehemiah hadn’t been to business school and hadn’t read a book on success in the workplace, EXCEPT God’s Word (which is where all good leadership principles come from), but he knew enough to make sure he displayed a happy, positive attitude before the king. In his youth Nehemiah was appointed to the important office of royal cup-bearer at the palace of Shushan; a privileged position.
In Nehemiah 2:1-10, the king noticed Nehemiah was unusually distraught and asked him why he was looking so sad. When Nehemiah told him that Jerusalem, the city of his ancestors was in ruins the king said, “Well, how can I help you?” (v. 2-4)
And with a prayer to the God of heaven Nehemiah boldly asked the king
- For a leave-of-absence from his job to build the wall
- To provide endorsement letters instructing the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River to allow Nehemiah to travel safely through their territories
- For the needed timber to build beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for himself
And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on Nehemiah.
God’s favor in the workplace is an amazing thing, but we have to do our part. If your boss has a choice between a negative, complaining employee or a positive, happy person, he will choose the positive person every time. This is especially true when bosses are choosing their inner circle of leadership. They want to feel better about themselves and their company and having people on their team who have a good attitude and enjoy life helps to build a great team.
There’s one more reason for having an attitude like Nehemiah; it’s what Jesus would do.
Heavenly Father, help us to live a life in our homes, workplaces, and churches that will cause others to know You more. Help us to strive to be the best employers and employees so that the name “Christian” will be synonymous with character and integrity in the world today.
In Jesus’Name. Amen and Amen.
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 3:1 through 7:3