Archive for February, 2021

I recently read my journal from twenty years ago that was written during a difficult time at work. It described the painful consequences of going beyond my expertise to gain a promotion.

I had amassed a number of new responsibilities that would help me to get my position upgraded. The motive behind my actions was to get promoted rather than to serve. Consequently, I was supervising more and more duties I didn’t know well, which gradually made me less competent.

At this time, the department underwent a major reorganization with a new management team put in place. When my new supervisor discovered my lack of knowledge in several areas of my responsibility, she was not impressed.

After a four – month process, I was demoted and transferred to another position in a new department. I felt much fear, sadness, hurt, and humiliation during this time. I thought, If I had only stayed in the job that God had placed me in and equipped me to serve, things would be better. This wasn’t the first time that this had happened, and it wasn’t to be the last. Why do I and many others reject God’s jobs for us and seek to fashion our own careers beyond our qualifications?

Many of don’t stay where God puts us because we want more. We are not content doing what God wants us to do because we want to earn more money or increase our prestige. We rely on the praise of others and the power we gain from the move to meet our need for importance. We are not satisfied with the worth we get from being God’s children. Wealth and praise seems more real.

1 Timothy 6:9 NLT describes this process as follows:

“But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction”.

My career suffered some of this ruin and destruction when I was lured to reach for a more attractive job that was not the one God had in mind for me.

When we seek a wrong job we can be focused on using people instead of serving them. This is the opposite of what Jesus modeled as he came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45).

We can chase idols that promise to meet our needs better than God. But they don’t. We become deceived into thinking that promotion, achievement, and pleasure will give us a better life than humbly following God step-by-step.

We forget that God controls promotions, and if it is a good thing for us, he will grant them. But until then, we are to “humble ourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift us up in honor” (1 Peter 5:6, NLT).

One thing that can help us to stay where God has led us to is to remember that he has planned specific tasks for each us to do for him. He says this in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ for good works, which he has created beforehand, that we should walk in them.” He doesn’t want us to do just any good deed, but the ones he has tailor-made for us to do.

It also helps us to know that we are already as important as we will ever be. No additional wealth or someone’s high opinion of us will makes us more valuable. His view of our importance is the only viewpoint that counts – and he sees us as always precious (Isaiah 43:4).

A third way to be faithful to the tasks he has called us to do is by meditating on his word. The Word is the only reliable source of the amazing truth that we are his precious children and are being used by him in his work in the world.

Let’s stay where he has placed us until he clearly leads elsewhere. We need to trust his plan that he knows perfectly how to use us and has our best interest in mind. We will one day see the beauty and wisdom of his plan. Until then, let us live by faith and stay put.

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