Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving - Colossians 3:23-24 NIV
It hit me out of left field, a punch to the gut. I was called in to the owner's office and informed that my services were no longer needed. I thought I was doing an excellent job. I had brought in new accounts and landed several high profile clients. There was no way this could happen to me. Wasn't I in charge of sales with a company car? I had a nice office along with other several nice perks. They definitely had the wrong person in mind to terminate. It had to be a case of mistaken identity. Unfortunately it was not a mistake. I had been fired and now faced the task of going home to tell my wife that one half of the family income was no longer there.
Looking back, the thing that was tougher than telling my wife that I had been fired was coming to grips with the fact that part of my identity was associated with my job. I know that I am not alone with associating my self worth to the position I held. This is something that is common with men. One of the first things that we as men do when meeting each other is ask, 'what kind of work do you do?' The answer to that question often determines how we form our opinion about the man that we just met. If we feel that the job is one with a certain degree of status associated with it, we will make it a point to try to get to know that person better. On the other hand, if we feel that the job that the person we just met is menial or beneath us, we will make an effort to distance ourselves from the individual. I learned a number of lessons from my termination experience. The first was that I would no longer equate the job that I had with my self worth. My job became what I did, not who I am and I realize that it could be taken away at any time. I was reminded of that when I was let go. The second, and most important lesson that I learned was that whatever I did, I was to work at it with a renewed sense of diligence. The reason was that my work reflected my commitment to live for Christ and I wanted to serve as an example to others. Do I want to go through the traumatic experience of being fired from a job again? Of course not, but if it happens, I am more than equipped to handle it because of the fact that I learned from the experience and know that I work for the Lord and not man. Again, God Wastes Nothing.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.