This post originally appeared on the Calvary website.
"I can't stand my job! I've been working there too long to be treated like this!" she said.
Author Jeff Vandersteldt tells the story of how they had just started eating dinner at their weekly [community group] when one of their members started unloading her frustrations about work. “I should have received a raise a long time ago and I am still in the same position that I started in two years ago,” she went on to say. “My boss keeps telling me I will eventually get a promotion, but it seems as if I keep getting overlooked. I’m really tired of this! I’m ready to quit.”
She continued sharing her frustrations about the working conditions and the poor benefits, and how her coworkers didn’t help the situation, because most of them had bad attitudes and poor work ethics.
Isn’t this pretty normal when people get together? In a community group, or in a coffeeshop, or around the proverbial water cooler, or at a restaurant, or a backyard BBQ with friends?
We struggle in our work, and we want a place to vent. We experience pain and frustration in our relationships. Roommates get on our nerves. Finances aren’t abundant or predictable. The computer, the car, the A/C break down. Parents wound us or let us down. So do our kids. We have plenty to talk about, and much to complain about.
So what is the typical response in a gathering of people to a vent-session like this?
“I know what you mean! My job stinks too!”
“You deserve better! Your boss doesn’t know what he has in you. Maybe one day he will wake up and realize how awesome you are!”
“Yeah, well, it might be too late when he does. If I were you, I would quit!”
But can’t Christians do better than that when one of us finds themselves in the midst of some trial, affliction, or suffering? Shouldn’t we respond a little differently than everybody else? We have good news to bring to bear on the difficulties of life. So yes, we enter in with empathy for a sister like this when she shares the job is hard. But we also bring good news to give. What would it look like for a Christian to help her move just one step closer to Jesus in this specific situation? What would you say to her?
I invite you now to watch or listen to my sermon based on the sermon we find in Hebrews. And if you’d like some additional resources on this book, head on over to the Bible Project page for this part of the Whole Story.
May God use his Word to inspire you to help just one other person move one step closer to Jesus.