Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
The last thing anyone at any job wants to hear is the phrase “You’re Fired”. I have been there a couple of times. It is like unto a sucker punch. Maybe you didn’t see it coming, and suddenly you find yourself feeling lost and without a purpose.
Let’s face, being fired sucks. The question that come up, almost invariably is “What now?”. On a personal level, it has almost always been a case of getting out there and finding something else. The only time I didn’t do that was back in 1993, and that was because I was preparing to graduate high school and enter into the US Navy. To that end, I already had something else lined up.
The idea of an employer not liking the work habits of their employees is not a new concept by any stretch. Even the Bible has some examples of employees not doing their jobs, and that even includes a few kings and prophets.
Unlike other posts here, I am not about to go through several Bible verses to show my point. However, I am going to look at one particular individual, a king, whom God appointed, and later chose against. However, let’s look at something else first.
There is a video on youtube, one of many actually, in which we see people doing all sorts of foolish and dangerous things on a forklift. One scene in particular shows a guy driving the vehicle around in circles while another guy is holding onto the passenger cage. This is highly unsafe. I shared this video on Facebook. One reply I got on it was from a former co-worker. They made a comment about that, saying I should do that to a certain supervisor. I called out the comment. The former co-worker denied my statement and the quickly deleted the comment. Suffice to say, I suspect they bear a grudge.
King Saul was like that. He started out good enough. The people of Israel had rejected God and the judges he had set over them, making the prophet Samuel the last of the judges. Now the Israelites wanted a king, and God chose Saul. Samuel was sent by God to first warn the people what would happen to them under a king, but the people would not hear it, and thus Samuel anointed Saul as king of Israel.
God initially blessed Saul and Israel grew in both size and power, but it was still largely divided. However, as God blessed Saul, Saul began to become vain and corrupt. Eventually, God rejected Saul and sent Samuel, the same prophet who anointed Saul, to go out and anoint another king, specifically David of the house of Jesse, the son of Obed the son of Boaz. In short, God has essentially fired Saul.
Samuel anointing David as king after him did not sit well with Saul. Saul even went so far as to seek to kill him. This did not sit well with God. Eventually, it got to the point that Saul was facing near certain death, and chose to take his own life than allow himself to be murdered. Yes, there is the issue of that self-serving guy who reported to to David that he was the one who took Saul’s life, but that didn’t end well.
Long story short, and pardon the gloss over of 1 Samuel and the first couple chapters of 2 Samuel, Saul was given a position, he failed to do what he was appointed to do, and God essentially terminated him. Saul didn’t like and sought revenge by trying to kill his replacement. In the end, the one who died was himself.
Saul bore a grudge against God because of his being rejected. So, too, can somebody who who has been fired. It matters little if they have a good character and are an esteemed member of the church, if they feel that they have been slighted in being terminated, they can bear a grudge about it. Unfortunately, all they are going to do is bring misfortune upon themselves.
Being fired sucks. However, bearing a grudge isn’t going to change anything. Rather, and this what Saul should have done, it would be better to look at what has happened and how it got to that point. I can’t say with any certainty, but God might have forgiven Saul if he had repented. However, because of his foolish pride, Saul had made himself God’s enemy, a striking contrast to how he had started out. So too when we are fired.
The loss of a job is no worth bearing a grudge over. However, it is also pointless to just sit there. If you lose your job, the wise thing is to consider what you did wrong and resolve to not do that again. If you are warned in advance, and Saul was, that you are at risk of losing your position, it would be equally wise to stop and consider well what has led to that and to change it. However, hearing the words “You’re Fired!” might be unavoidable. If such happens, best to get up and get moving. Nobody is going to find a new position by sitting, crying, and holding a grudge.
I wish this didn’t seem so legalistic. However, as one who has been told on a few occasions “You’re Fired”, I am unable to give much else. Perhaps the saving grace of this is knowing that God does forgive, even when we mess up like Saul. The Bible assures us that if we repent and turn from our sins, God will forgive us. That is one gospel message I love hearing.
Here is the video I spoke of earlier. I do not endorse this type of behavior: