How many people in the next few months will hear these words: “I am very sorry but we are going to have to let you go”…? Maybe you have already been on the speaking end of these words. I would imagine you know someone who has heard or had to say them.
They are, of course, workplace-speak for all kinds of messages: “We can’t afford you any more;” ‘ “You are surplus to requirements;” “You don’t figure in our plans;” ” You are not adding enough value to us;” ‘You don’t measure up;” “If you don’t go (along with x thousand others) the company goes bust.”
Whatever the hidden message in the words the impact on the
recipient is more obvious. People feel rejected, devalued, hurt and
angry. In addition there can be a rise in fear of financial difficulty along
with loss of security and status. For some, identity is so closely bound
up with work that they feel as though they have become a nobody.
Although for many these words will signal early retirement, voluntary
redundancy with a decent settlement, or even moving to another
suitable post, there will remain thousands of times and places over
the next few months where these words will come out of someone’s
mouth and feel like a punch to the stomach.
There is one mouth out of which these words will never come. God says, “I
will never leave you nor forsake you.” Paul reassured the Roman
Christians that “nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ..”
And,”no one can take us out of his hands.”. God will never say, “I can’t
afford you anymore.” He who paid for us with his son’s life will not
abandon us. We can never become surplus to his requirements
because his kingdom never ends. You have figured in his plans since
before the world began; he knows the plans he has for you and they
are good and very long-term. It’s not a question of measuring up or
adding value to God but being measured in terms of his forgiveness and being
invited to join His mission.
You can lose your job but not your employer. You can lose your
income but not your security. Your identity and status are not up for
grabs because they are in the hand of Someone who does not reject,
devalue or destroy the souls of his employees. That’s why someone
wrote “Oh love that will not let me go.” It’s not just a question of
holding on – it’s being held.
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
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