Not only must we maintain a proper attitude toward our unemployment but there must be a maintenance or proper attitudes while we are unemployed. That is the subject of this chapter. A Christian may hold wrong attitudes in unemployment as well as toward it. An attitude may be the determining factor as to how long God will keep us in adversity. If we adopt a bad attitude, we will be in adversity until we grow up and if we adopt a good attitude, we will be growing and the pain of adversity may be shortened. As we probe these attitudes do a serious introspection to be assured you are not holding on to bad attitudes. The difference between "in" and "toward" is: 'Toward" is my attitude emanating outward while 'in" is my attitude emanating inward as we shall see. Our inward attitudes affect our situational evaluation. If we view our situation in a negative light, we will act out of a negative evaluation because everything we see or do will be filtered through negative reasoning.

Our attitudes must be in concert with Scripture and if it is not, then our Christian testimony begins to erode and falls in line with the testimony of an unbeliever. The difference between the saved and unsaved person is that we have hope no matter how dark the situation is or seems. The world has no hope as Ephesians 2:12 states: "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" Our attitudes must be grounded on the promises of Scripture and from a root of faith. There is not a situation in your life which is not under the control of God Himself. Let us look at some of these attitudes.




(Prov 14:30) A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. (rottenness=decay as being eaten by a worm)

Sometimes while we are home or having been rejected at interviews, we may build up a resentment of those we know who are still working. Somehow we believe that as friends they should quit their jobs and commiserate. Envy is destructive and this is why God says it is rottenness to the bones. Envy can be the beginning of a progressively destructive scenario:

• You envy the working person, then

• You will feel sorry for yourself, then

• You will be vulnerable to satanic suggestion, then

• You will begin to consider those suggestions, then

• You will act on those suggestions, which

• Could lead to dire consequences.

Envy can be used in two ways. One way is destructive as we have seen. The second way is constructive. You may have a friend who has a job they are very happy with. This may provoke an envious heart in you and you would like to know more about it. This type of envy is not wrong since it originates from a proper motive plus it may spark an investigative spirit and may lead to a new lifestyle. So do not fear the word envy but discern between the good and bad kind, so you reap constructive results not destructive.



Ephesians 1 - Read the entire chapter and focus in on key words like: chosen, holy, predestinated, adoption, redemption, etc.

No one on earth is a total failure. God has placed you here to do a work and He has equipped you for that task, although you may not realize it. Think back on the things which you have accomplished in your personal, business, and church life. Take out a pad and list them. You may begin to see a pattern of strengths and weaknesses surface. From the list of strengths you will be able to determine where your best sphere of service may lie. Maybe you have been working outside the parameters of your strengths and this is why you struggle. Maybe where you think you should be and where you should be are two different places. Seek the Lord and ask Him to open your eyes to this possibility.



(Heb 12:15) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Bitterness is a seething hatred for someone or something. When a Christian becomes bitter, they are selling themselves out to the old nature. The verse also tells us that many are defiled by bitterness. It is something that defiles a human being and wherever there is any hatred or just dislike, a root of bitterness is being formed and if it is not checked, will mushroom into full, blinding hatred. If a person lives in a perpetual state of bitterness, there is a chance they are not saved. Bitterness does not correspond to the newness of life a believer is supposed to be walking in. (Rom 6:4 KJV) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Bitterness cannot be hidden because it surfaces in speech and actions. Bitterness like all sin begins in the mind. If any dislike for anyone or anything is rejected at the moment it enters our mind, there will be no ground for the root of bitterness to grow. If you really want to prevent bitterness from gaining a power base in your life, then pray, you cannot hate someone if you are praying for them.



(Rom 8:18) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

When we focus on the situation, we miss the entire purpose for our trial. Today's problems are the training ground for the Christian. God tells us that our affliction is not worthy to be compared to our glorious future. Worthy may also be translated "deserving, fit, good enough, suitable to." God wants us to focus on our glorious future. Focusing on the situation will engender discouragement and dejection. Our focus must be on the Lord Jesus Christ so we may learn to view our situation through His eyes and capabilities. Once we do this we will be living above our circumstances. To focus on the situation is to focus on the problem and not the solution. The Bible asks the following question: (Gen 18:14) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Well, is there?



(Dan 6:10) Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Daniel did not care what document was signed. He was determined to keep his prayer time constant. The key phrase in this verse is "as he did aforetime." My prayer time is right after supper because you will rarely get interrupted by anyone since all friends and family are eating at nearly the same time. When I had lost my job, I wanted to change my prayer time but I kept coming back to that specific time. One principle of keeping stable during unemployment is to maintain your evening activities in the same manner you did while working. Unemployment causes a drastic change in your life and the keeping of some constants will make it more tolerable and your life will seem less out of control. You want to keep as many of your previously established activities as possible. Of course if there are things you cannot do because of financial restriction, then you must put them on hiatus until you are working again. Prayer time should be kept constant and because you are out of work, you may find that you can pray additionally during the day but always keep your official prayer time as it was. One key to surviving unemployment is stability of life patterns as I have suggested.



(Prov 19:15) Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

Suddenly you are plunged into a zero hour workday from a ten hour workday and one consequence may be the development of laziness. It is very easy to go from an active lifestyle to a lazy lifestyle. One statement we may use is, "I will get to it later." Later comes and we put it off till tomorrow, and so on. It is a deceptive decline to a lazy life. God did not allow us to lose our job to give us another vacation. The first day you lose your job is the first day of school. I want to offer four 'keeps" which will help prevent laziness from entrenching itself within you.



One of the easiest traps to fall into is sleeping late. If you were used to rising at 5 AM, it does not harm you to sleep till 6 AM. Make that the latest you rise. Do not allow yourself to start sleeping till 9 o'clock which is possible. We may cling to the idea of what do I have to get up so early for. As I stated previously, keep as many constants in your life as possible. By continuing to rise early you will be preparing yourself if a job comes your way. If you are sleeping late in the morning, and you start a job which requires you to rise early, you will not have to re-acclimate yourself to the early morning hour You will be fresher on your first day on the job. Sleeping late may cause you to become lazy. Let me say at this point I am writing book while unemployed but I still rise with the sun every morning. I am up between 6:30 and 7:00 AM, seven days per week. If I receive a job which causes me to rise at 6 AM there will be no great shock to my system and I will be able to function much easier than if I slept till 9 o'clock. Keep rising early and you will be glad you continued to do so.



Now I do not mean you must sit around your house in business attire but I mean that you should keep yourself neat and groomed. The men should be shaved or if you have a beard, keep it trimmed. The ladies should have their hair combed and neat. Once I received a call for an interview in the morning and was told to come in that same afternoon. So you will never know when that phone will ring for an interview. Keeping well groomed is also a good testimony to those who meet you and know you are out of work. They may not say anything but if you look scruffy, they will comment on that, maybe not to you but to someone else. You may meet someone who has a job offer for you and if you look like death warmed over, they may hesitate to tell you of an opening in their company. Remember, they are placing their reputation on the line because their boss may judge them by the company they keep. Well groomed is well prepared.



Keeping busy will help keep your mind stimulated and alert. Plan an itinerary for each day. You may now be able to take a correspondence course or volunteer time at your church or ministry. Find or start a daytime bible study or support group for the unemployed. You need not know it all because how many are trained in the doctrine of unemployment? All you need is a few who can start it and you can join with other churches. When you go back to work, then someone else may be unemployed and you can pass the torch of leadership. It is very important to keep busy because let me restate a principle, your unemployment is not a vacation. It is a test of your faithfulness to God under adverse conditions. Try to have at least one outreach ministry. When I was unemployed in 1990/92 I started a personal monthly newsletter for single Christians which had a circulation of 140. It went to churches, individuals, and ministries. It met a need of ministry at the time and I received some good feedback from my readers. Keep busy, plan an itinerary, and put the plan into action.



Probably the easiest trap to fall into when unemployed is becoming a daytime TV addict. With all the talk shows, game shows, and soap operas, you can watch TV from the time you wake up till the time you go to sleep. Watching TV during the day will keep you from doing anything constructive. It will anesthetize your mind and you will become another dormant daytime dummy. Now this does not mean that you never put the TV on during the day but you must determine to shut it off before it takes a large block of time out of your day. Television is a great time waster and will also keep your mind shut to the things of God. If you have a free afternoon, read your Bible, listen to Christian radio, go to an old graveyard but for your own spiritual good, do not become a daytime TV junkie. I fell into that trap for a while until I realized it, then I stopped before it became a fortress in my life.




(James 5:16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

As a Christian we know that God guides our life and it behooves us to be in prayer for that guidance. (Psa 48:14) For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. We must pray that our spiritual eyes and ears will be opened to whatever God will be calling us to. Prayer is our vital link to the intercessory ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is replete with examples of God's children praying and receiving answers, some received answers before they ceased praying. A pastor of a small church once told me that fervent prayer is the key to finding God's will, The words "effectual fervent" comes from the word "energeo" which means God is not talking about prayer which is insincere, sloppy, and fainthearted. God desires His children to seek Him on a continual basis and with much energy. Lazy prayers do not accomplish much. Do a check of your prayer life and see where you are.



(Psa 25:5) Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Be in a mode of expectation as you wait upon the Lord. Ask yourself this question, "What does God have for me today?" Let me say at the outset that if something does not happen each day, you still be in a spirit of anticipation. Another question we may ask is, "What is God preparing me for?" As we take this attitude we may want to build a daily diary of events which happen, even if they seem insignificant. Watch for little things because there will be lessons in them also. Most Christian do not live an adventure filled life but God uses the little things to train us so don't overlook them. Be in an anticipatory mood because God is working something out for you, so do not disregard the daily lessons. Anticipation is hope in action as you wait on the Lord for your next assignment. When all training has been accomplished, your next assignment will be given you.



Read the entire book of Esther.

The book of Esther is a great comfort to those who are waiting on God when the answer seems to be delayed or when it seems God has forgotten them. In Esther we notice the name of God is not mentioned at all, yet God is working a mighty work on behalf of the Jews. He is planning to save the nation from extinction from the hand of Haman. The lesson is great for us. If it seems Heaven is silent toward us we may still take comfort in the realization that God is working on our behalf. God will use the time of silence as a tool of training us in faith and patience. God is under no obligation to reveal anything to us before His appointed time.

When you study the Book of Esther you will see strategically placed people which were prepared by God. Two of them are Esther who was sent to the kingdom of Ahasuerus to become the Queen so she would be instrumental in saving the Jews. The second strategic person was Mordecai, who was instrumental in being the mentor of Esther. God may have a Mordecai in your life to be an encouragement during your trying times and sometimes that person may use a cattle prod to keep you on the right track so you will be prepared for your next assignment. So do not resent the person that you cannot seem to get rid of, because they may be your Mordecai.



(Exo 40:36-37) And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: {37} But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.

In the wilderness the Israelites had to be on alert status, so when God moved the cloud, they packed up and moved. As unemployed people we must be on alert status in case we receive a call at any time. If you do not have an answering machine for your telephone, may I suggest you purchase one if you can afford it. It will cut down on anxiety and you will miss no calls. Try not to make long range plans while unemployed because this is an unstable time in your life which must be lived one day at a time. If you do make plans, try not to go out past two weeks. When friends or relatives call, make everything tentative. Do not tie your phone up during the day with long conversations unless you have call waiting or two lines. If you only have one line, keep it free as possible during the day. If your friends call you during the day just to chat, ask them to call you back in the evening but tell them why you want to keep the line free during the day. They will understand. Keeping your telephone free is a sign of readiness. Have clothes ready along with resume and anything else you need for an interview in case there is not much time to prepare. Purchase maps of your county and state so you will have no problem finding your interview and will arrive on time. Save every job clipping you apply for so you will be able to recollect what job you applied for, especially if you send out many resumes each week. I once received a call for an interview and asked them for which position. That must have sounded professional. Keep accurate records of the companies you have applied to and interviewed with. Record the name of the person or persons you interviewed with. The key is to be ready to move out.



(Ezra 7:10) For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Bible study will help you identify God's methods of dealing with people. You will see how He worked with those in the Bible. Do a character study on someone in Scripture like Joseph, Moses, Sarah, etc. It is good to study these characters because they faced both hardship and joys. You will also find that nowhere in Scripture do we ever find God forsaking His own. Many verses will jump off the page as you read them and apply to your present situation. Many of these verses probably did not take on the special meaning when you were employed. Increased studying will help you understand and accept the seeming contradictions you face in life.

Let me state a seeming contradiction: You have been giving faithfully and in good quantity to God's work with the right heart, and the Bible says give and it shall be given unto you, then all of a sudden you lose your job. To top it off you know a cheap Christian who cringes at the word "give" making money in good quantity just to spend on themselves. You ask, "Why Lord?" (If you are not giving to God's work then you better look at your own motives.)

Now a good comparison to that type of scenario is found in Genesis 22, where Abraham offered Isaac to God for a sacrifice. That offering seemed to be in contradiction of God's plans. Isaac was the child of promise and in him was the Messianic line. I wonder if Abraham asked the Lord why? But tucked away in that chapter is verse 5 where Abraham said to his servant that he and the boy would return to him. (Gen 22:5 KJV) And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. Abraham had the faith to see beyond the present situation and trust God with the outcome. We would not know these things if we kept our Bibles closed, so study your Bible while you are unemployed and you will find many answers and parallel situations to yours, and comfort to know that God controls every situation. If you were giving faithfully and lost your job, claim Hebrews 6:10, "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.) Trust God with your situation because He can be trusted.




Check to see what triggers a bad attitude in you. Is it doing menial tasks on the job? Is it disliking your colleagues? Find out what pushes your buttons and work on that so when you return to work, you will have a fresh start and you will be able to stop any wrong feelings when they first appear. Once in a while we all get angry on the job but if it does not dissipate, it will turn into a bad attitude.



Ask the Lord to show you methods of reaching your future colleagues. It is not wrong to view your job as a mission field. You will be sent somewhere to reach people for Christ, not just to earn a paycheck. Determine that you will be an evangelist when you arrive at your new assignment. You may begin to search for books on job related evangelism and tracts which carry a similar theme. You will always meet someone on the job who needs the Lord or some Christian who may have strayed off the path. So be ready in both areas.



This is one area we Christians have problems with. None of us like to be thought of as a servant, especially when we are management. The key to being a good manager is being a good servant. This is the key for all positions whether it is blue or white collar. When we determine to be the servants of others we are adopting the mind of Christ and although Christ is hated by the world, His servant's attitude is not. Becoming a servant to all does not mean you do everyone's work because that would be unbiblical, but it means being their friend, helping them when no one else wants to help, going to their department to offer help when everyone else is gone home, etc. The servant mindset is one which is lost in today's "love yourself and look out for number one" mentality. Begin to pray about adopting the servant mindset and you will be a friend to many on your new job, and life long friendships could occur.



Begin to pray about your future job and colleagues. God knows where you will be in the future, you do not. Pray that you will be a good testimony to the new people and many will accept you. Pray also that you will accept them because there are always some on the job that will get your goat right from the outset. Pray that your first day will be a smooth transition and that you will be an asset to the company and your department. Pray that God may prepare your boss for you. There are many different ways you can pre-pray for your next job. You may have some specific and private things to pray but pray so you will be totally prepared for your next assignment.

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