Scripture: Nehemiah 3:1-17    

 Nehemiah has returned from Babylonian exile and his assignment is to rebuild the wall around the city. Nehemiah is very strategic and intentional in his efforts. He wants the wall to be built properly and he must be certain that it is strong enough to withstand any future attack. It is interesting that in 17 verses of Nehemiah 3, the writer repeatedly uses the phrase "next unto him", or "next unto them." The writer will not only describe the worker but he expresses that the success of the individual depended greatly upon who was working beside them.

 The people around you have a lot to do with your success. Nehemiah put each worker next to someone who would inspire and motivate them to work. When I was in school, it would not take the teacher long to realize who to allow me to sit beside. My ability or willingness to stay focused was altered based on who was around me. That fact does not only apply to children in the classroom. It applies to us adults as well.

 We grow and become better people when we surround ourselves with people who are growing and becoming better. Tony Vincent says "surround yourself with people you can always learn something from. Always work with people that are better at their craft than you are." If you are not pleased with your growth, look at who's around you.