Be Prepared if You Challenge the Status Quo

Mar 18, 2024

(This is a snapshot version of the 3/19/24 "Life's Key 3" podcast episode. If you prefer the whole enchilada, visit and look for Episode 61.)

Bible reference: Nehemiah 2:6-10

If you're going to challenge the status quo, whether it's a small way in a personal relationship or overhauling an organization, be prepared to model Nehemiah's three practices. They're ancient but still necessary and effective. 

1. Nehemiah prepares for his conversation.

He can't accomplish the task of rebuilding Jerusalem without the King Artaxerxes's assistance and approval. Nehemiah doesn't “wing it” or “make things up on the fly.” He’s thought about the king’s possible responses and is prepared. He requests letters necessary for safe passage throughout the territories he must traverse and a purchase order to the Forestry Department to requisition whatever timber is needed. 

Nehemiah's not being arrogant; rather, he's being considerate. Rather than waiting to ask for these items at a later time which would have required more of the king's time and attention, Nehemiah asks at the opportune moment. He doesn't expect the king to brainstorm problems and solutions with him. He comes prepared with solutions to problems he already knows he'll encounter. 

The more significant the conversation, the more time you should invest in preparing for it.
Think ahead. If this, then that. Anticipate what the other person(s) may say. Be ready to respond. Be solution-minded!

Immature people rehash problems; mature people resolve them. 

2. Nehemiah accepts help.

The king sends him out with army officers and horsemen. He doesn’t go alone. He understands the risks in getting back to Jerusalem and isn’t interested in wasting time and energy protecting himself when someone else can do it. There's no "Oh, that's okay, Artaxerxes. I'm good." Nope. He saves his strength for the battles he alone must fight; he lets others fight battles he can delegate.

3. Nehemiah encounters opposition.

More people are invested in the status quo than want to change it. Expect enemies when you set out to help others become strong and self-sufficient. Not everyone is happy when people aren’t vulnerable or dependent anymore.

These truths apply to individuals and organizations.

Everyone is not going to be your cheerleader when you set out to do what God’s put in your heart.

Don’t be surprised by criticism or opposition. Be prepared for it!

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