Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 9, 2015
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…(Colossians 3:23).
Career challenges are meant to keep us close to Christ, not drive us to default to our own drive and determination. These occupational hazards come as a result of economic downturns, or when a recession rears its ugly head. The fear of layoffs, downsizing, and restructuring can linger over our lives like a bad dream. Our confidence is shaken as we wonder if we will continue to receive a paycheck. We may feel extremely vulnerable because our industry is caught up in change and consolidation.
However, these down cycles are your opportunity to remain a dependable employee, partner, investor or boss. For instance, make sure your attitude aligns around the Almighty’s big picture for your life. This season of service has been a gift from your Savior, going forward you are a much better person than before. Use these days of uncertainty to stay engaged in your job. Remain an asset rather than a liability to your company. Your work is for the Lord first, so labor with passion, focus and diligence.
Furthermore, there are various ways to keep a stellar testimony during these trying times at the office. First, stay focused on doing your job with excellence, and don’t allow fear to force you into leaving prematurely. Sometimes you feel conflicted like Nehemiah; you are building the wall with half your resources and fighting the enemy of discouragement with the other half (Nehemiah 4:17).
Secondly, be flexible as people leave, new responsibilities may need to be migrated under your management. See this as an opportunity to expand your capacity and learning. Bosses remember those who worked harder and smarter during the hard times. Moreover, be willing to get out of your comfort zone and serve in a totally new role if that is what it takes to weather your current vocational storm.
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29).
Lastly, if you are a boss, supervisor, manager, director, vice president or ‘C’ leader, do the right thing, the right way and trust God with the results. Stay under the authority of wise objective counsel and follow through on their advice. Make the hard call early to let someone go, but do it with grace and generosity. Pray with and for the team member you ask to exit. Look them in the eye and affirm their contribution to the organization. Do everything you can in good conscience to provide them contract work, or connect them with other career opportunities.
Christians have a responsibility to reach out to those in transition and to walk additional miles with them in their search for work (Matthew 5:41). The way you manage is your ministry, so take it seriously and prayerfully. Your career constituents are your congregation—they need to see you model Christ in the marketplace. Men and women are most vulnerable and teachable in the middle of career challenges and transitions, so use this window of ministry to love them toward the Lord. Career challenges are meant to draw everyone closer to Christ!
“So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor” (Job 37:7).
Prayer: How can I best model Christ in my current career challenge?
Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 34:12; Nehemiah 5:15; Psalm 127:1; 1 Timothy 4:10
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