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Within recent times, HELP WANTED signs have become a very familiar sight as employers experience tremendous difficulties in locating individuals who are willing to work for them.

I ask:  What is going on?   Such a problem of this proportion did not exist before the pandemic came into existence.  What has happened?  Where are the workers?

Before addressing this problem, let me begin by saluting those who leave their homes daily and go into the workplace to earn an honest living!  I pray for them each day.  And, praise God that so many of these are individuals who are willing to lay down their lives for others. I am referring to those precious nurses, CNA’s, doctors, EMT’s and all others who are on the front line facing the horrendous virus plague.  Sadly, some who contracted the deadly virus have gone to their graves early.

And, let me not forget our beloved law enforcement officials including the police officers who have not thrown in the towel but who continue to persevere even as devilish ridicule is thrown against them from many directions.  And may we always remember all military personnel serving in the name of freedom including those in Ukraine that is being attacked by the evil forces from hell.

And, no, I would not dare forget our firemen who often risk their lives as they run into a burning building trying to rescue humans from what has become a hot deadly inferno.

Now, returning to the original question…..what is going on?  Why are businesses lacking workers?   Where are they?

First, it is no secret that when businesses closed because of the pandemic, some employees took advantage of the situation and returned to school to learn new skills so they could increase their value and earn higher pay. That is commendable. 

In addition, a large number decided now was the time to hang it up……retire.  I recently read this bumper sticker:




Sorry, but I am not impressed.  Do you recognize how often the pronoun I is used in this message....all about me....all about me! 

I have no problem with retiring from a job position.  I do have a problem with those who simply “hang it up” meaning no more work rather than seek the next calling in a world that has overwhelming needs.  Regardless of age, God put us here to work.  After all, His son did not retire on us just before He went to the cross!

But, the numbers still do not add up.  Surely there are others who are missing from the workplace.  Yes but who are they?  The Bible refers to them as "lazy sluggards", the ones who are willing to remain at home and live off those who work.  Trillions of dollars of stimulus money and other such handouts help support them.

History shows this is not something that is totally new.  But, there is a new dimension in employment akin to the loafers:  Some individuals are remaining at home while holding employers as “hostages” meaning I will come to work but only after you raise the wages.  This behavior is in direct opposition to Biblical truth. 

Jesus tells the parable of the owner who employed individuals in a vineyard.  Some were hired early in the day while others were hired later.  Before being hired, they all agreed to the wages which would be paid.  But, when pay day arrived, those hired early grumbled because those hired later would receive the same pay.  That was the right of the employer who is the one who establishes the pay scale, NOT employees.  This is what the employer said: "I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?  Or are you envious because I am generous?"

This story isn't really about the workers being taken advantage of—they're receiving exactly what the boss promised. This story is about the vineyard owner's generosity to the other workers and, yes, rest assured that he had the full right to do this.

Before going further, let me say that employees should be paid a fair wage and I do believe that God will hold employers responsible for this since this is an ethical issue.  However, workers need to also understand that only the employer has the full knowledge of how to assess all of the ingredients which must be examined to determine fair wages. 

When an employer pays excessive wages that can not be afforded, the same owner will have to raise the price of his or her merchandise or service.  And, here is the bad news: When the customer is unable to afford to pay that price, Economics 101 and simple mathematics will tell you that the customers will also disappear.  Instead of a sign that reads HELP NEEDED, it will be replaced with a new one:  BUSINESS CLOSED.

There is another problem concerning the current status of employment in this country which does not appear on the front pages of newspapers or in news broadcasts.  Millions who have elected to come to work are perfectly miserable and restless. In my book A Worker Need Not Be Ashamed, I refer to them as wanderers in the wilderness.  They have become professional job hoppers……running from job to job…..searching….searching….for the perfect job.  But reality teaches there is no such thing as the perfect job.

What is the real problem in their search?   The answer takes me back to a truth which I have stated so many times.  The most important day in the life of any individual is when that person comes to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.  And, the second most important day is…..

…..when that person discovers why God made him or her.

What is my passion?  What is my dream job?  What are my talents and my abilities?  These are critical questions which help a person locate the calling.

 So many put the cart in front of the horse.  The calling comes first….not the job.  Then, the job search will focus on that which satisfies the calling.  In effect, the job becomes…..

…..the engine that drives the calling!

This is a truth that is frequently missed and it is why so many workers are so dissatisfied with their job.  There is no joy in the morning when the alarm rings!  Their escape mechanism is to walk away and try something else and so often that something else is also a disaster so they continue to ride on the merry-go-round hoping they will eventually find happiness.  And, when they quit, the HELP WANTED sign has to be displayed again.  

Several weeks ago, I visited a men’s clothing store.  Only one individual was on duty….the manager.  He later told me that en employee had just walked out on the previous evening giving no notice and no reason whatsoever.  All of this becomes a lose-lose situation especially when many employers spend thousands of dollars training a worker and the training investment is never recovered.  

Since there are so many job openings, this kind of behavior has increased dramatically beyond any level I have ever witnessed and it is not good for employees and not good for businesses amd not good for this country. 

I pray daily that all such individuals will find their calling and then exercise their God given abilities as they reach out to serve others which is why God has given us the precious gift of work in the first place.  Work is good because God is good.

In closing, I invite you to join me on our YouTube channel.  Click below and you will find 28 recorded messages including one-minute presentations for those who have a heavy schedule.....

You Tube

I look forward to being with you in July.   In the meantime, I must be about my Father's business.

altVery truly yours,

Jim Hogsett, Writer for Guideposts Magazine and President/Founder at WORKER MINISTRIES WORLD HEADQUARTERS