Last week a friend shared some bad news—she had been “let go.” She works hard and has solid credentials, but things just weren’t clicking at this job. Her bosses said her work products did not meet their expectations. Beyond that, though, they also said her personality wasn’t a great fit for the company. She’s really shaken up. Being let go is a nice way to say she was fired, and that hurts a lot more than being laid off along with a whole team or division.
What We Do and Who We Are
As professionals, we work hard at our jobs. As a Christian, I believe there is a reason why God gave us skills and opportunities to apply those skills at work. It’s easy enough to think those skills and opportunities are what God has called us to on this earth, and then confuse “what we do” with “who we are.”
We spend so much of our time at our jobs, it makes sense that those jobs would be a big part of who we are. And when that job is taken from us in a way that suggests we weren’t “good enough,” it’s no wonder a person would doubt their identity.
What should we do? How do we respond?
Identity in Christ
The “spiritual” answer to this situation is to remind ourselves or our friends that our identity and worth is in the Lord—that we have been “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3) or that we “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9, NIV)—but in the moments of rejection, those verses can sound trite.1