Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Words from the Unemployed to the Unemployed

posted by Scot McKnight

I want to open the comments on this post to those who are unemployed, or who were unemployed and who have recently found employment, to speak into the lives of others who are unemployed. 

We’d like to hear your advice, your comfort, your encouragement, your hope, and your wisdom.
We want this blog to be a forum of hope, a place where the unemployed can come to hear stories and words of encouragement. 
As Christians we celebrate the resurrection on Sundays. May the power of the resurrection reshape our hopes to believe in God even when life is bleak and dismal.


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Wilco

posted November 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm


This is hugely appreciated. I just lost my job a month ago, 2 days before our son was born. I live in The Netherlands so our taxes are pretty steep but when you?re unemployed you get 70% of your last income for a number of months. Still, I worked at this company for 5 years and I will never be able to find a job that will be equal in pay to this one. We made the decision that my wife stay home and take care of our 2 kids but this way it gets rather difficult to keep this up. Anyways, we are not desperate. Our trust is in the Lord and we know he will take care of us. He may not give us what we think we need but He will always provide us with all we really need – He already has, by giving His life. That doesn?t mean that at times we?re not stressed out by our financial worries, it just means that we are not desperate, hopeless.
Take care and thanks again.
Wilco



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Dave E

posted November 29, 2009 at 7:06 pm


I have been umemployed a little over a year. Doing some freelance stuff, and I feel joy when a task is done and I get a little pay. But should not I be joyful always?
Employment (and all that flows from it like homes, superannuation, pension funds, saving, investing, leisure, etc) were virtually unknown in the time of Jesus. People worked from day to day, often at different tasks depending on the situation. Very dependent on a rural economy including the elements.
Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20) is not a case of a landowner seeking some casuals to help with the grape harvest. To the labourers, it was their sole livelihood; if they did not get paid on the day they worked then they and their families would go hungry.
If the labourer was injured, then his working life was terminated, and he would have to beg.
The labourer and his family had to rely on God’s daily care far more than we do, who assume that employment is relatively permanent.
So many have become unemployed through no fault of their own; so it is no shame to be poor, but it is no great honour either (quoting from Fiddler on the Roof!)
So the unemployed should never take dismissal as a personal slight against them; hopefully their families still love them; God and his Son never cease loving us; our worth is not our take home pay. It is how well we live the Jesus creed in plenty and hardship; in joy and depression.
In hardship, we discover the sorrow our Lord felt; we will never have to suffer like he did for us; but as our King we seek a higher goal that is not dependent on a fickle economy.
Love to all in Jesus



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Jawaid C. Bhatty

posted November 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm


I have been unemployed from last 4 months and have been on umemployment benefits (USA)which is just enough to take care
of our daily bread, its fine with me. I believe in the Lord
and will keep walking claely with HIM, no matter what even
if we are thrown out of the house on none payment of mortgage
Turn to GOD with all my heart & hangon until HE carries you through! Hebrew 10;35-37



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Willie Krischke

posted November 29, 2009 at 9:03 pm


I am not unemployed, but I’m starting to feel like it. I am a campus missionary who relies on fundraising, and our support has drastically decreased over the last year. I have thrown myself into fundraising with limited results. We also just had a baby – she is six months old on Tuesday – and that adds a whole new dimension to not knowing where the money’s coming from. I am always on the lookout for supplemental sources of income, but even those are harder to find these days. Seems like every day is a battle against fear, worry and despair.



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Douglas Romaine

posted November 29, 2009 at 10:09 pm


As one who has recently moved reluctantly from a pastoral ministry position to ministering to the unemployed at an unemployment call center in the US, I have had direct opportunity to speak with hundreds of those who are collecting unemployment. I have been surprised by the lack of hope among most of those with whom I have spoken, as opposed to past seasons of high unemployment; however I have seen God work to provide for us faithfully despite my worry and lack of trust. I was unemployed for about four months and God provided us with employment two days before our last severance check was in our mailbox. I pray for those unemployed on a daily basis as I speak with them on the phone!



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Randy

posted November 30, 2009 at 9:05 am


Thank you Scot for posting this. We need to be able to identify our selves and relate to others with dignity without focusing our occupations, no matter how “vocational” they may be or may have been.
My wife and I were long part of a group called Beyond Welfare, which was begun in 1996 by eight women who either were in or had been in poverty. The core idea of this group is that people experiencing poverty contribute to the solution to their poverty, defined as “Lack of money, meaning and relationship.” http://www.beyondwelfare.org. Their website includes a 20 minute video telling their story through from 1996-2006.
I have been unemployed since I was dismissed from my campus ministry position in May.
My wife and I have been blessed in this time in that we were debt free and my parents were able and willing to help us buy a house from them on land contract. They are being patient in waiting for us to have an income that allows us to pay off the amount we still owe. My wife has been able to work since Labor Day and has a job through January, thus we can pay most of the bills.
The most outstanding blessing we have received is that for the previous three years we participated in “Beyond Welfare,” which became in many ways our primary social group. There we experienced things we wish we would have seen in our church. BW is focused on building friendships across lines of race, class, religion, and other labels, including former prisoner. Thus we ate dinner with, supported and became great friends with many people who lived paycheck to paycheck, were unemployed, or were otherwise in need. Our friends there were generally happy and enthusaistic in supporting one another and advocating for themselves and each other.
One discipline there that served us mightily was that we “Leave our labels at the door,” whether labels of privilege or labels of disability. We simply related as friends, and got to know one another as friends helping and advocating for those without enough money, meaning or relationships in their lives.
Leaving our labels at the door meant that we developed regular practices of greeting each other without letting “What do you do?” be part of the process. Thus my wife and I developed entire ways of relating that did not then mention our jobs or now my lack of one. We did not realize until we began socializing here in Michigan what power that provides in telling our stories.
I encourage people experiencing unemployment to check out their website and the video http://www.beyondwelfare.org
Peace,
Randy Gabrielse



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