Chapter 1: How to Keep Your Job in a Recession


In the United States, the employment situation is terrible regardless of where you look. Millions of people are struggling. In Great Britain and Europe, millions more are out of work. Australasia is suffering too. And the world is still only in the early stages of an approaching Great Depression.

There has never been a more important time to increase job security.

Let’s open our Bibles to learn what God has to say about how to succeed in the workplace. Let God show you how to strengthen your likelihood of keeping your job—even as times get worse.

Does God Want You Poor?

First, know that God wants you to be happy and prosper. Somehow, many people equate Christianity with poverty. This is wrong.

The Bible contains several examples of wealthy men whom God describes as righteous. Abraham had hundreds of servants he was able to arm to battle the king of Assyria; counting their wives and children, Abraham’s household would have numbered more than a thousand. Job was so humanly perfect that even the devil couldn’t find fault in him—and he was possibly the wealthiest man of his age.

God does not intend His people to be poverty-stricken, dressed in rags, living in penury. In fact, God challenges each of us to see whether, if we obey Him, He will not open up the storehouses of heaven and shower down riches upon us! (Malachi 3:10).

Jesus Himself said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). “I wish above all things,” the Apostle John said, “that thou mayest prosper and be in health” (3 John 2). It is God’s desire that we have happy, healthy, abundant lives!

But in order to have this kind of life, you must obey God’s laws—including His laws of financial success!

Work Hard

If you were to survey the world’s most successful “self-made” billionaires, you would find one commonality: diligent, hard work. Lots of it. This is a trait all successful individuals have, regardless of income bracket.

From the beginning of human life on Earth, God purposed that man should work diligently and thus reap the benefits.

On the seventh day of creation week, God created the Sabbath by resting. But the commandment for us to follow His example and rest on the Sabbath has another, often overlooked side. The Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:9) also says, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.” That part of the command is also important to obey.

The intent of this law shows that although man is commanded to rest on the seventh day, he is to keep busily engaged in gainful work during the first six days of the week.

God gave this commandment to keep us in a right relationship with our Creator. He works. He created and now sustains His creation. God intends us to become like Him. God produced His wealth—His creation—through labor during the first six days of the week. We are to do likewise.

The Bible is also clear on how to work. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,” wrote King Solomon, who possessed phenomenal wealth (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Solomon said the slothful and sluggards should study the ant and how that tiny insect works hard to save up food for the winter, even though it has no taskmaster forcing it to do so (Proverbs 6:6-8). The Apostle Paul said professing Christians who will not work are worse than unbelievers (1 Timothy 5:8). A Christian ought to be a diligent, hard worker at whatever type of work is available to do. Hard work is evidence of a true Christian!

Henry Ford, car manufacturer and industrialist, wrote in the introduction to his book My Life and Work: “There is no reason why a man who is willing to work should not be able to work and to receive the full value of his work. There is equally no reason why a man who can but will not work should not receive the full value of his services to the community. … If he contributes nothing he should take nothing away. He [the sluggard] should have the freedom of starvation.”

Mr. Ford had no patience with people able but unwilling to work. He paid the highest wages in the auto industry, but he would not tolerate laziness!

Contrast Ford’s historic success with the state of the U.S. auto industry today. Believe it or not, for some years now, thousands and thousands of unionized employees have been paid to sit idle and do nothing. There is no work to do, but they cannot be fired due to union rules. This is not a recipe for success for either companies or individuals.

There is no way around it. Becoming a success at anything requires diligent work.

Become More Valuable

Some people are offered jobs just because of their reputation as hard workers, but most are sought because they are also skilled in their field. Becoming highly skilled at something obviously requires hard work, but the rewards are obvious: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29). The word diligent in this verse can also mean skillful.

Prepare for the best job you can. The extra hours of study or training will pay off later. A second job, or even night classes, may be required for a time. Be creative. Consider all your options. “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks [or whatever occupation you have], and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever …” (Proverbs 27:23-24).

The Apostle Paul gives further instruction regarding making yourself a more valuable employee. He says to be cooperative and zealous on the job, conscientiously serving your employer or supervisor (Colossians 3:22-23; Titus 2:9). Be alert to please your foreman or boss. Do the job his way. Show your willingness to go beyond what is required, and work extra hours if necessary to complete a job on schedule. Remember that good personal relations on the job are vital to assured employment.

Valuable employees get paid more and have greater job security. The way to receive a greater reward is to be worth more. So make yourself a valuable employee. Don’t just plod along in your job with a ho-hum, humdrum, every-day-the-same-routine attitude. Be a fired-up go-getter! Grow! Produce! Apply yourself and prove to your employer that you earnestly desire to do more and to have more responsibility, and that you have the capacity and the will to work! (Matthew 25:15-28; Mark 4:24).

By working hard and becoming more valuable, you are doing everything humanly possible to not only keep your job, but to advance and flourish.

Do Your Part—God Will Do His

Many nations are heading into the worst economic times since the Great Depression. The struggle to keep your job will only intensify. But if you do your part and follow God’s laws, God will bless you and provide for all your needs. As Christ said, “[S]eek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these [material] things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

Pray for favor. Unemployment may reach 50 percent or more, but there is no reason that you cannot be one of the 50 percent with a job.

Consider Joseph. He was sold by his brothers into slavery. He was taken captive into a foreign country. He was wrongly accused of a heinous crime. He was thrown in jail. He was forgotten by a man who said he would help. Yet through it all, Joseph ultimately attained the second-highest position of power in the land.

When you obey God, nothing can impede ultimate success. Even an economic cataclysm is nothing against the power of the God who wants you to prosper.