Setting Your Mind to the Good Work

So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. (Nehemiah 4:6) 

After Nehemiah examined the foundation of the wall and deemed it sound, he explained to the people the plan to rebuild the wall. The inhabitants realized that this was a gargantuan task, but notice that at the end of verse 6, the Bible tells us they had a mind to work. What does that mean? It implies they were determined. The people purposed in their heart just as Daniel did when he refused to defile himself with the king’s meat. They decided that they would do this, and nothing would stand in their way. They were resolute. Committed. Serious.

How about you? Are you committed to taking action? Most times, I think we're serious enough to complain about it but not enough to take action. If we could have an instant fix, well, sign us up, but if we have to work for it, maybe not.

Are you ready for this? If we're not serious enough about the changes we wish to see to take action to achieve them, then we need to be quiet about it and let it go. No more whining and complaining! If it's important enough to complain about, then it's important enough to act on. So, if we're not willing to work, then we need to keep our mouths shut and accept things as they are. There are no instant fixes! Our problems didn't arrive instantaneously, and the solutions won't either. They require time and effort.

I’m ashamed to admit that, for many years, I fell into the category of caring enough to complain but no more. I wanted things to be different, but I wasn’t willing to do what I knew to do to make them different. I had some warped notion that knowing what to do and doing it were the same thing, but that’s not true. And knowing won’t build walls or free us from our prison. The Bible spells this out in great clarity in James 1:22—But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. We need to stop fooling ourselves and ask the tough question—how badly do we want to get better? Is it worth denying ourselves our creature comforts and favorite habits? Is it worth investing time and energy into it? Is it worth re-training our brain? How serious are we?

Before you throw something at me and call me unkind names, I beg you, hang in there just a little longer. I know how you’re feeling. Remember, I’ve traveled this same road, and I’ve been at this same point along the way. It goes something like this, “Yes, I’m serious about wanting to get better, but I’m already so busy and so tired. I don’t know if I have the time and energy to put into it. It sounds like too much to handle right now.” Am I right? (Maybe I should go into business as a mind-reader. I wonder how much money they make. LOL)

Honestly, I know where you’re coming from, and I feel your pain, but this is what I finally realized. I can’t afford NOT to take action. Getting rid of anxiety and depression became more than a hope or dream; it became a necessity. I finally realized I was dying a slow death, and enough was enough. So, I asked myself the following questions:

1) You say you don’t have the energy to build these walls, but how much energy would you have if anxiety and depression weren’t continually sapping it from you?

2) You say you don’t have time to work on these issues, but how much more time would you have if you weren’t crippled by anxiety and depression, which often results in long stretches of time where you’re unmotivated to do anything?

3) You say you’re busy, tired and weary, but what have you got to lose? If you build the walls and nothing happens, you won’t be any worse off. On the other hand, if you build the walls and find that the added protection around your heart is hindering anxiety and depression from assaulting you, then you’ll be much better off in the long run. My point? You are already paying the price, so the question is, do you want to pay the price to be miserable or to be protected from that misery? The choice is yours, but once you make it, the real work begins. Remember, it’s not enough to know; we must take action. We must have a mind to work.

***Excerpt from

Rise Up and Build:  A Biblical Approach to Dealing with Anxiety and Depression