Unemployment – Study Guide

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Personal Reflection

Your response to unemployment

  • How do you treat the unemployed?  How do you treat widows, orphans and those with disabilities?
  • How does your church relate to those people?  Does your church provide hospitality for people?  Does it run a food bank?  If people in your church are struggling pay the rent, or the mortgage, how do you respond?
  • If you know people who are unemployed, how can you help them?  You can certainly pray for them – how can you encourage them?  Are they trying to develop employable skills?  Could you help them with that?  Could you even just encourage them with that if they get demotivated?

How you budget your money –  generosity and planning for the future

  •  Do you spend all you make, or are you able to live on less?  If you have some surplus, what do you do with that?  Do you save or invest?  Are you generous?  Do you help others in need?

Changes in work

  • How has your field of work changed over the past decade or two?  What retraining have people in that field had to do?  Do you try to learn more as you work, or do you hope that things will stay the same?
  • If you had to change job, what kind of thing would you like to do?  What skills and experience would be required for that role?  Can you start building those now?

 

Bible Study

Word Search

Look up references to widows and orphans in the Bible – you can use a concordance, or just search an online Bible if you like.

In Ancient Israel these people would have been economically disadvantages – intentional help was needed for them to reintegrate into the community.  Read through what is said about widows and orphans, and ask God to help you understand the relevance of that for today – for your community – for your response to the disadvantaged.

Proverbs

The book of Proverbs teaches a lot of wisdom about work.  If you are unemployed, or if your job seems precarious, spend time in Proverbs.

  • Underline the Proverbs that speak about work.  Spend time pondering them, and ask God to help you grow in wisdom.
  • Ask God to help you learn how your work can be valuable for your community.

If you are wanting to learn how to prepare for unemployment at some point in your working life, look for all the Proverbs that are about living frugally, about using your money wisely, and about growing wealth.  Ask God to help you learn how to work well to make more than you need, how to spend less than you make, how to save wisely, and how to invest wisely.  Also, ask God to help you learn how to be wisely generous.

Paul

We can read about Paul both in Acts and in the Epistles he wrote.

In Philippians 4 and 1 Timothy 6 Paul wrote about being content, and as we read about his life and work in Acts we can see that he was telling the truth.

  • Especially if you struggle to live on less than your income, spend some time considering what Paul said, and the example of Paul’s life.
  • Ask God if there are ways in which you need to learn contentment.

In Acts 18 we read about Paul being a tent-maker while he was a missionary.  We usually think about this in terms of people funding ministry, but it’s also a good example of someone doing work that was not fully demanding of Paul’s skills.

  • If you are unemployed, or if you’re just thinking about unemployment, are you prepared to do jobs which might seem below your level of qualification while you look for employment in your chosen field?
  • If you know people who are unemployed, is there work you could pay them to do – house or garden maintenance, for example?
  • If you’re employing people, do you count lower roles against people, or do you take it as a mark of character and determination?

 

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