"I can't stand my job! I've been working there too long to be treated like this!" she said.
Author Jeff Vandersteldt tells the story of how they had just started eating dinner at their weekly [community group] when one of their members started unloading her frustrations about work. “I should have received a raise a long time ago and I am still in the same position that I started in two years ago,” she went on to say. “My boss keeps telling me I will eventually get a promotion, but it seems as if I keep getting overlooked. I’m really tired of this! I’m ready to quit.”
She continued sharing her frustrations about the working conditions and the poor benefits, and how her coworkers didn’t help the situation, because most of them had bad attitudes and poor work ethics.
Isn’t this pretty normal when people get together? In a community group, or in a coffeeshop, or around the proverbial water cooler, or at a restaurant, or a backyard BBQ with friends?
We struggle in our work, and we want a place to vent. We experience pain and frustration in our relationships. Roommates get on our nerves. Finances aren’t abundant or predictable. The computer, the car, the A/C break down. Parents wound us or let us down. So do our kids. We have plenty to talk about, and much to complain about.
So what is the typical response in a gathering of people to a vent-session like this?
“I know what you mean! My job stinks too!”
“You deserve better! Your boss doesn’t know what he has in you. Maybe one day he will wake up and realize how awesome you are!”
“Yeah, well, it might be too late when he does. If I were you, I would quit!”
But can’t Christians do better than that when one of us finds themselves in the midst of some trial, affliction, or suffering? Shouldn’t we respond a little differently than everybody else? We have good news to bring to bear on the difficulties of life. So yes, we enter in with empathy for a sister like this when she shares the job is hard. But we also bring good news to give. What would it look like for a Christian to help her move just one step closer to Jesus in this specific situation? What would you say to her?
I invite you now to watch or listen to my sermon based on the sermon we find in Hebrews. And if you’d like some additional resources on this book, head on over to the Bible Project page for this part of the Whole Story.
May God use his Word to inspire you to help just one other person move one step closer to Jesus.
In the book of James, we meet a follower of Jesus who is going to sit us down for a little chat. And fair warning here: James isn’t really too concerned about your feelings, or how comfortable you are with someone you don’t know nor have ever met getting pretty personal with you.
Sunday's Comin' (July 7, 2019)
I think all of us want to be wise. The question is, how do we get there?
Preparing For May 26, 2019
Do you know why the church exists? Do you know who formed the church, and how it was formed?
Just a brief reminder that a great way to prepare for the service this coming Sunday is to read the text we will be studying together.
Preparing For Sunday May 12, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This last Sunday, I preached the first of two sermons on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Here was the sentence I began unpacking, which is my summary of both letters:
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.