Demoted but not Diminished


It’s Friday afternoon.  Woo-hoo!  The radio’s playing party tunes. You and the rest of the world have been liberated to kick back and spend that well-earned salary. Unless of course, you don’t have one. Salary, I mean.  Or er – job.

Some of us are employed: but overqualified.  Some are trying to get work, but finding it impossible, despite our best efforts.  Some of us want to work, but can’t – for example, because of ill health. Some of us work, but don’t have an income – or even a title.

It’s embarrassing, isn’t it? The first question when you meet someone new. The box you leave blank.

“What do you DO?”

Life and worth, summed up in a sentence. Am I useful?  Am I productive? Have I got value?  Have I a purpose?

What do I DO?

I’m fighting an illness.

I’m raising a family.

I’m trying to stay positive.

I’m pursuing a dream.

I’m defending my life in two sheets of A4.


What do I do?

“Nothing.  I do nothing”.

The worst thing is, we’ve been raised to think we’ll do something Amazing with our lives.

‘Dream big! You can do anything you set your mind to! You are Special.  No-one else can do what you do. You deserve the best!’

Sounds good.  But when you can’t even get a job, let alone Make It, you start to question these sentiments. You question yourself.

What gives me worth? My bank balance (in the red)? My employment status (still looking)? If I dream big and land low, how do I pick myself back up?  Who am I when the CV’s stripped away?

I would look to the Bible for wisdom.  But no-one in there gets how I feel.

There’s Joseph, apple of his dad’s eye and covered in bling… then lost his family, freedom and good name.

Moses – a prince with a glittering future… turned fugitive, tending sheep.

Ruth – happily settled and married – then widowed and far from home.

Elijah – triumphing and famous – then face down in a cave and asking to die.

David – king of the kingdom then stripped of power and dignity.

Peter – “Rocky” who talked the biggest game then took the hardest fall.


Is there a word to such people? And a word to me?


To Moses: “Go, I am sending you… I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:10,12)

To Ruth: “The LORD, the God of Israel will shelter you under His wings.” (Ruth 2:12)

To Elijah: “Get up and eat. Receive the LORD’s care and hear His recommissioning.” (1 Kings 19)

To David: “The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.” (Psalm 34:22)

To Peter: “Simon, son of John, do you love me? Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-19)

To us: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  (Luke 12:32)




10 thoughts on “Demoted but not Diminished

  1. So helpful! Thanks for writing this. I left University and am now working 2 part time jobs that I had before I went. I’ve stepped back 2 years in the job prospect! But I know it’s God’s way of teaching me humility and as long as He is by my side I have nothing to be ashamed of. He is my joy, not what status or achievement I have. God is so good to us and when we sow the seed of obedience He will always deliver!

  2. Well said Emma,

    truly value what you write. I have wrestled with the same things as you have written, and recently found out our entire family may be in transition from one nation to another, or maybe from one city to another, or maybe…….

    The important thing for each one of us to get is the: I am beloved and not I do is what I am.



  3. Thanks Tim. Sounds like you’re right in the firing line at the moment: praying for peace, patience and wisdom as you and your family move ahead.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts. The older I get and the more experience of being taken care of by my Father, the less anxiety I have. Never would have thought this wehn I was younger.



  5. Oh Emma – I needed that! Struggling with work a lot right now – feeling bullied (no-fun-at-all) and frustrated – and yet with health stuff will be hard to chage at present. Needed those words.

  6. What a horrible situation Lizzie: praying you’ll know His protection and strength. I’m reading the Psalms at the moment and it has a lot of gory stuff happening to our enemies. Not sure we can apply to office bullies; but it might help!

  7. This is the first of your posts I ever read. A friend sent it to me and it was perfect timing as a struggle with a job that doesn’t fit my abilities or aspirations, and often leaves me feeling drained, frustrated and useless. This post really helped… thank you.

  8. You’re welcome! God bless you – and may he make you a blessing to others, as he’s already doing :)

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