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FRONT PAGE  |  2/14/2016
FRIDAY, NOV 20, 2009  |  9 comments
Idle Hands: Some Puritan Advice for the Unemployed
Steve Lee, of Denver, Colo., is familiar with the despondency that unemployment brings. Laid off a year ago from a medical-sales position, he admits that depression hit just a few months into his unemployment. "All I could think about was how bad the economy was and how unlikely getting a new job as good as my old one would be," he said. With tips like "start exercising" and "try to stay hopeful," cyber-counsel for the 15 million currently out of work rings hollow at best, leaving those thigh-deep in unemployment wondering where to turn for practical advice.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, encouragement may come from an unexpected source: the Puritans. ...


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Choosing your career
  START  
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· Page 1 ·  Found: 9 user comment(s)
News Item11/20/09 4:48 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Sorry for the digression, then.

Yes, I agree. There is no place for vocational snobbery, something parents need to remember. My father recalled his father's disappointment when he chose an educational career over engineering. That is never worth a quarrel. I wonder how many families are ruptured over arguments about such "adiaphora?"

9

News Item11/20/09 4:22 PM
Guinness  Find all comments by Guinness
Neil,

I'd rather not get drawn into how pastors are paid right now.

My concern is that we maintain the biblical view of the true value of a man's work and labour and character.

Low paid and/or menial work is not in the least less than fully honourable. Indeed, I would argue forcefully to the contrary that it is highly honourable.

8

News Item11/20/09 3:04 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Guinness, maybe that was an indirect request for referrals or an interview.

Anyway, you bring up an interesting question: how much should pastors be paid? I think it should be at least according to the hours spent studying & performing other elder duties. Why should it be any different from other jobs in this respect? "Time is money" (aka "opportunity cost") is a Biblical principle, Ex. 21:19.

Admittedly, this would have to be primarily on the "honor system."

7

News Item11/20/09 2:28 PM
Guinness  Find all comments by Guinness
Also ironic is getting a prayer request email from an ex-pastor who, to be fair, did take on low paid work - at least for a time.

The prayer request however asked that we might pray that he would find something more 'God honoring'. I think the reference was more to do with wage levels than the presumably 'dishonourable' nature of customer service work or a desire to return to the ministry.

It can of course be legitimate to pray straightforwardly for higher paid work, especially if someone has dependent family to provide for.

6

News Item11/20/09 1:36 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Re the last two posts, I think it ironic that many Americans complain about no job opportunities or jobs going overseas, while conveniently ignoring the numerous menial or difficult (& non-union) jobs that citizens leave for illegals to do. This has perhaps been mitigated somewhat by recent circumstances. Anyway, many Mexican Catholics have a better work ethic, it seems, than our so-called "Protestant" citizens. Mexico has its deadbeats, to be sure, but they work for their gov't or Pemex, for example, & have no reason to go North. Mexico's gov't is basically socialist, which is probably why there are so many there seeking remunerative work.

And illegals have a major strike against them: language. Who wants to hire someone with whom communication is difficult? We've had that come up in getting contractors for home repairs. I don't care where they're from (many are quite competent), but we have to be able to communicate or no deal is possible.

5

News Item11/20/09 12:59 PM
Barry from KY | Northern KY  Find all comments by Barry from KY
As for me, I'm holding out for a management position!!!
4

News Item11/20/09 12:50 PM
Guinness  Find all comments by Guinness
"how unlikely getting a new job as good as my old one would be"

With all due respect to Steve Lee's everywhere I think the Puritans would have had some very direct advice in response to that comment.

As a modern day Puritan put it

Neil wrote:
These days, people seem to think they are entitled to many good things besides Christ-mass gifts - a college degree, high pay, job security, a big house, medical care, etc. I wonder if they learned that from the Santa cult?
3

News Item11/20/09 12:26 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Agree with Scott. Surely some Puritans had something to say about involuntary unemployment, since in their heyday, England's economy was often in bad shape. Inflation & bad harvests are alleged to be major reasons.

According to historians, there was much concern then among the respectable classes about "sturdy beggars" (the chronically unemployed), often blamed for petty crime. England's "Poor Laws" were one result. No wonder emigration to the Colonies was encouraged - England could get rid of felons & malcontents (like the Puritans).

We still seem to have plenty of felons & malcontents here, though not many Puritans.

2

News Item11/20/09 11:44 AM
Scott McMahan | Internet  Protected NameFind all comments by Scott McMahan
This is a baffling op-ed piece (not a news article) because I can't figure out what the author is trying to say. I don't see any actual advice for the unemployed in it. If you can parse and understand social-science gobbledygook like "the Puritans gave America a pedagogy of work and an attitude toward life that upsets the modern notion that a person's occupation equals his value" more power to you, but it doesn't explain how to feed yourself when you don't have a job.
1
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