Let me start off by explaining the title of this post. You might be thinking, “Why would I be afraid of promotion? “A promotion is all I think about!” If so, you’re not alone.
Talk to any normal person about their career/dreams/passions and you’ll likely hear, whether explicitly or in conversational undertones, that they’re looking for promotion. They want to move up one notch in the ladder, they want to earn more money, they want a new title, they want more power, they deserve this or that for a few really good reasons that they’ll love to share with you. Being in a current position while dreaming of a better position is the status quo nowadays. But, here’s what that really means.
It means that we’re just working to get to “the top.” So what happens when we don’t? What happens when someone else gets the job, raise, promotion that we were working toward? What happens when we’re doing all of this work and no one sees it? Well, usually our framework of mind starts to unhinge and somehow the position we have seems unbearable…even though we prayed for that position. Even though we fasted for that position. Now that we have it, we realize it’s not all that great. And then we see a better and shinier position over yonder and realize that’s what we should set our sights on. The fear then is not of a promotion but the absence of one. Building on a foundation of promotion is sure to bring about fears because that foundation is unreliable and out of our control.
Here’s the problem with the “always-needing-to-get-ahead” mentality we’ve been taught and have accepted: it will leave you miserable no matter how many promotions you get. Why? Because the root of those desires is discontentment. That’s the real issue here. There will always be greener grass, more money to make and more power to be had. If we spend our lives constantly searching for it, we’re going to miss out on what truly matters, like peace, joy and yes, contentment. On top of that, it’s hard to be friends with someone who is constantly trying to outdo everyone around them. No one wants to feel as if they are a stepping stone or leverage for someone else’s dreams.
Now, there are some things we should never be satisfied with. We should never stop working out our salvation in fear and trembling. We can never know God enough. We can never give ourselves enough to His work. We’ll never reach a cap on our love for others. There’s a trend among all these things though – they have nothing to do with furthering our own agendas. In fact, when we become unsatisfied in these areas of our lives, we might very well begin to find satisfaction in where God has placed us.
It was Paul who said, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Phil 4:11-12
Contentment has very little to do with what you have and very much to do with who you are. I know people who make more money than I probably ever will – but they go to work everyday hating what is it they do. I know people who don’t have much and are just starting out – but they are “living their best life” and loving it. I also know people who have nothing and are miserable and people who have everything and are happy. The reality is that there is no perfect dream job or position. That job that you think will meet all your expectations and desires and leave you with nothing to be desired doesn’t exist. Every job and every season of life is what we make it. Which is actually good news. Because where you are right now can be “the dream” if you want it to be.
If you’re where God wants you, then you’re exactly where you should be.
More likely than not, you haven’t reached your full potential. So He will move you. But trust me – let HIM move you. Let HIS doors fly open for you when the time is right. You didn’t create yourself so don’t trust yourself to write your own path. It may sound scary at first, but when you really think about it, it’s the safest choice you can make. I know very little about anything, so I don’t know why I would be capable of planning out my perfect life. God knows [more than] a lot about everything, so I think I’ll just let Him figure it out for me. To be honest, I am living the dream. Because I’m right where God put me – so in this very place I find joy, peace and contentment. If He moves me, so be it. If not, so be it. There’s freedom in being able to ebb and flow with God’s plan. Because He knows the plans He has for you and me. They’re not plans to harm us. They’re good plans that include hope and a future.
So today, take step back and examine your motives in the past fews weeks. Ask a friend or mentor if you want. Are you focused on what God has for you and making the best of this current season or are you constantly trying to angle your way to the “bigger and better” that’s waiting just beyond where you’re at right now?