A few of us were pondering the question the other day – if you were hiring staff, should/would you give preference to a Christian? Two of the folks quoted examples of where a Christian employee had been a really bad option. One thought it was OK to preach the gospel on his employer’s time, so not getting his work done, and discouraging custom in the process; the other was downright lazy. Obviously the lazy one had a lot to learn about being a Christian, and the other needed a little wisdom and balance. But the question that strikes me, is shouldn’t Christians in principle at least, always be the best employees?
Look at Joseph (Genesis 39:20-23). ‘The Lord was with him’, and as a result he was given mega responsibilities in the prison. So good was he, that the warder completely took his eye off the ball, and left it all up to Joseph. He must have been good – I’m guessing that the warder would have lost a bit more than his job if things had gone pear-shaped – so in effect he was trusting Joseph with his life. Joseph had had a similar experience at Potiphar’s, where he was so good at the job that he got promoted to the top of his trade.
But isn’t the Lord with all those who love and serve him? So surely we should all be seeing that sort of success? Yet as I look around the Christian world, I notice that there are a good many who are not at all happy in their work. There are also plenty who struggle to get a job at all, and have to take something lowly and underpaid. Whilst most Christians do try their best and work hard, most of us only make it to a good average. So what’s going on? Is God with us or not? Are we doing something wrong?
It seems to me that there is often a mismatch between our skills, and the requirement for posts. Modern life is full of pressure, with a lot of greed and dubious ethical practices. People’s health and stamina breaks down under those conditions. Just surviving is sometimes as good as it gets. Does God get fed up with our mediocrity when this happens, and take off to bolster up some clever-shins ‘Joseph’ up to the top of the ladder?
I can’t give an answer to the puzzling question of why some Christians never find an easy route in their career, but of some things I am sure. God does not love us less for not having a cracking career. He also accompanies the unemployed Christian into the job centre.
So I’ll ask these two questions. If God doesn’t look down on me for not having a good job, or being ultra successful in the workplace, why would I look down on myself? And second, why would I look down on others who are not doing so well either?