EFFECTS OF THE CRISIS
A person finds themselves in an employment crisis many different ways. Maybe through a layoff or downsizing, reorganization, or even being fired because of misconduct or poor productivity. This crisis not only affects a person’s bank account, but it feeds into a marriage, family and social life, and even spiritually. We often allow ourselves to be defined by our work or title, and when that is taken from us (or we lose it), we also lose part of our identity as well.
Helping a Friend in Need: Employment Crisis
HOW YOU CAN HELP AND ENCOURAGE
HELPFUL THINGS TO SAY
Allow the person to grieve the loss of the job.
Grief is not secluded to our response to the death of a loved one, but it includes anything that might be considered a loss – including the loss of a job. With it comes the loss of security, loss of identity, loss of income, loss of insurance and benefits, loss of relationships, etc.
Help diffuse the shame – communicate that the person is worthy apart from a job.
Take the opportunity to tell your friend what kind of person you see them as. For example, if your friend lost his job to downsizing, you might encourage him by saying, “I know you to be a man of integrity, compassion, and excellence in everything you do. You are still that man. The loss of this job does not change who you are and who I believe God wants to help you continue to become.”
Treat the person and family normally.
Job loss happens. Be a light in the midst of potential darkness. Be encouraging and up-beat as you visit with the individual and their family. Be assuring and confident that things will work out.
Get your church involved.
One of the aspects of being involved in a church community is that many of the people you worship with on Sunday mornings, work in business that potentially might be a place for future employment. Reach out and ask those in your church if there are any openings that would align with their gifts and passions.
HURTFUL RESPONSES TO TRY TO AVOID
Offering empty platitudes
- “God is teaching you a lesson – you’ll thank Him later”
- “It must have been God’s will for you to get fired.”
- “I’m sure you and the family wont end up on the street.”
Talking too much about your own job.
They don’t want to hear how well your job is going. Keep focused on their situation.
Offering unsolicited advice.
Listen first – always. There may come a time when your advice is requested. Even then, your desire should be to help them navigate their own situation and come up with a solution that they have prayed about and believe is the direction God is taking them.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Romans 5: 1-5 (NIV) “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
James 1:2-4 (NIV) “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Dear God, help me to find my worth in my relationship with you, not in my employment. I want to use the gifts you have given me in the workplace. I pray that you will lead me to a job where I can most effectively serve you. Please give me patience as I wait, and courage to continue my pursuits. Amen.