[by Sandy McIntosh] Are you afraid of losing your job? Are you unhappy with work but you see no way out? Would unemployment be the end of life as you know it?
You may have a career disease called “lack of agility.” This sickness is not always terminal, but it is chronic and debilitating. And the freedom that God gives to Christians does not include this depressing dysfunction.
These are the symptoms: you are not happy where you are, but you can’t move. And there is no place in your life for dreams and visions of greater things. And you fear losing your job.
There are different treatments for this disease, including bank therapy. In my experience, most Christians and most churches need a dose of personal financial medication. I have been there.
A few years ago I had debts that severely restricted my life. I also drove an old Kia Spectra. It was cheap and reliable, a tough old tractor. Imagine, I had to open the windows by turning a crank with my hand. Clearly I needed to upgrade. And by that stage in life I was used to living with debt, and accepting financial restrictions on my life.
I had a good job, and my credit rating was too good for my own good. For example, every year I got free credit cards in the mail.
A little voice kept telling me that my job was not permanent and I needed to plan my next career move, but little voices can be ignored.
In that toxic mix, I made one good decision, and I am living on the happy side now. I kept the Kia, and I bundled my debts and treated them like a car loan. I also parked on the street and walked to work. That kept me healthy and saved about two hundred dollars a month; and it saved me from the indirect costs of jumping in a flashy new car and driving around town on fool’s errands, just for the joy of driving.
Did I enjoy any of this? No. The whole business was depressing and humiliating, but I did pay off my debts in a few years. Then I bought a new vehicle that I could afford, and gave the Kia to my son. Later he sold it to some guy in Winnipeg, and it’s probably chugging through the snow as you read this.
Go well old friend.
During that time I moved to an interesting new job, and the move was challenging. The opportunity would have been impossible if I had bought a new car and expanded my debts. I would have lived in fear as a debt slave to in my old job.
In history, Mr Lincoln freed the slaves in the U.S.A., but then the bankers reeled them back in. I appreciate the financial services from my bank, but I no longer accept free credit cards, or low interest loans for stuff I don’t really need. I don’t want to be any employer’s debt slave. I want my dreams and visions back. I want the freedom God gave me, in my work.
I heard of a man who defined his wealth by his credit limit. Apparently he was rich because he could borrow so much.
The Bible is blunt about debt, if you owe money you are a slave “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7).
If you feel confined in your work, and afraid of losing your job, and generally unhappy with your career; you have the symptoms of chronic slavery. Slaves are naturally unhappy with their career path. Check your financial pulse, talk to an advisor, make a plan to be free. That is the normal state of a Christian.
And in your new state of freedom, make real and fearless career plans.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1).
More in the series:
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter One: Just Quit
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Two: Free the Slaves
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Three: Lose the Attitude
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Four: Dream On
- So You Hate Your Job: Fix the Problem