I started writing a devotional when I was going through unemployment after university in 2014. It was very challenging for me and I still wrestle with my identity being wrapped up in ‘what I do’ at times. I had only written it for seven days, but thought I would share it here to maybe encourage someone going through a tough time regarding work or lack of it.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:1-4
There is a danger of falling into the ‘comparison trap’ where we constantly compare our lives to others. There is the temptation to look at others when we are successful in our jobs, and in doing so, we may have a haughty opinion of ourselves. On the other hand, we can look up to others and long for their success, position and career progression. We compare ourselves to others constantly. But to what end? Let us not compare ourselves to others. Let us look to the needs of others today and take our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances.
Prayer for today…
Thank you so much for creating us with unique gifts and abilities. We praise You for designing us with a plan in mind. Help us to remain humble in whatever situation we find ourselves in. If we have a good job, help us to give generously. If we are without work, help us to keep our eyes on You. In all we do, help us to give thanks and rejoice in You Lord. You have given us so much. Help us not to compare ourselves to others, but to consider the needs and worth of others. Amen.
This is the end of my very short devotional and there is much more that I could have written – I had originally intended to write a 40 day devotional! After achieving a first class honours degree and thriving on achieving, it was a necessary experience for me to go through. I still wrestle with wanting to be seen as a ‘success’ and I am an over-achiever in many respects. I am not trying to be too hard on myself, but I do think there is a danger of chasing after glory and I need to keep that in check from time to time.
Unemployment was tough – telling my university that I was without a job after six months when they rang me to see what I was doing was a humiliating experience. I became the statistic that I never wanted to be. But I am not a statistic. I am a child of God. That is where my identity lies. The truth found in His Word has spoken life into my despair and brought joy to my heart when I thought I could not be joyful. Praise the Lord for every trial because it is in those moments where I grow in faith the most.
Whatever trial you are enduring at the moment, I pray that you will experience the peace and love of Christ in your heart. May He be ever close to you.