One verse I associate closely with the process of finding a job is “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).” I quote this verse sometimes when I’m encouraging a client to pick up the phone and call someone, or to memorized and repeat before an interview. And this quote by James Conant reminds us all to stick our necks out sometimes.
Paul was writing to encourage a young preacher named Timothy, a young man whom Paul thought of as a son. On one of his missionary trips, Paul left Timothy behind to be in charge of developing churches in the city of Ephesus and the region of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). We think of Timothy as timid, but what he was doing required boldness of an extraordinary kind. For most of us, job search also requires boldness of an extraordinary kind.
One time four clients and I were talking about the positive and negative aspects of introversion and extroversion in job search. Introversion is beneficial only in the first two or three weeks of your campaign – while you are developing your plan, strategy and marketing collateral. Extroversion, of course, is necessary to make contact with the people who can help or hire you.
Our challenge occurs because we have to be our best extroverted self at a time in our life when our confidence has been shaken by the loss of our job, rejection by potential employers, uncertainty about who we are and what we have been designed to do, and a host of other ego-sapping messages. You may have received a message similar to this: “You’re not worth having around our company anymore; now put a smile on your face and tell the world what a valuable employee you are.” How can we be bold when the world is putting us down?
It’s easy to see why we end up in a state of timidity. It’s in our human and sinful nature. Timidity influences us to sit at the computer all day and search for job leads, a process that gets more depressing with each passing day. Timidity tells us that we are not valuable and not wanted. Timidity causes us to withdraw more and more until we are like a turtle sucked into his shell in the middle of a busy highway.
Satan gives us a spirit of timidity; God gives us a spirit of:
Unlimited strength is at our disposal. The power that brought Christ back to life is available to all of us. “But he said to me [Paul], ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Let love your your family motivate you. Love drives out fear as we see in the passage that says God is love. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:16-18)
One of the toughest jobs in the world is looking for a job. It is hard to face uncertainty, rejection, financial stress, and much more. This passage teaches that God has given us a spirit of self-control or self-mastery. The people who find jobs the quickest are the ones who take a disciplined approach to their job search every day. The people who find jobs the quickest are the ones who take risks and leave their comfort zone. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13)
The same power, love and self-discipline that were available to Timothy and Paul are available to all of us. All we have to do is claim it, believe it, and act on it.
See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we are strengthened with power, love and self-discipline!
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