I answered, “We are servants of the God who rules from heaven, and he will make our work succeed. So we will start rebuilding Jerusalem, but you have no right to any of its property, because you have had no part in its history.”
(Nehemiah 2:20 CEV)
If I were to summarize the Old Testament Book of Nehemiah, I would say that it’s a story about rebuilding a broken city and broken lives. Following the Babylonian exile, Nehemiah, a high official in the Persian court, is granted permission by King Artaxerxes I to return to rebuild and re-establish Jerusalem. As he proceeds to rebuild his beloved city, Nehemiah encounters opposition and threats by the armies of Samaria, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites, the enemies of the Jews. So Nehemiah positions guards to defend against the constant threat of those who opposed their efforts. I love Nehemiah’s response to those who were trying to tear the Jews down physically, mentally and emotionally, “We will start rebuilding Jerusalem, but you have no right to any of its property, because you have had no part in its history.”
The Bible exhorts us to associate with those who build us up spiritually, mentally and emotionally (Hebrews 10:24-25). So when someone isn’t building us up, in fact, they’re deliberately trying to tear us down, we’re to do what Nehemiah did and not give them the right to take part in our history. This year, let’s surround ourselves by those whose purpose is to build us up and distance ourselves from those who slow and tear us down. We will never get God’s work done, if we allow ourselves to be surrounded by negativity and drama. If it’s not contributing to your growth, let it go.