We need to be sensitive to the trauma confronting an individual who has lost a job, who can’t find another, whose bills continue to mount, whose mortgage payments may be in default. Such people feel a loss of personal worth, discouragement, frustration, and even depression. Recent statistics show that, with every 1 percent rise in unemployment:
• 4.3 percent more men and 2.3 percent more women are admitted to mental hospitals for the first time.
• 4.1 percent more people commit suicide.
• 4.7 percent more people are murdered.
• 4 percent more people end up in prisons.
• 1.9 percent more people die of heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and other stress-related ailments.
• Child abuse increases.
1. Offer encouragement by telling the individual you are glad he or she called, that we care, and that you are happy to spend time with him or her to talk about the problem.
2. Remind the person that he or she is not alone, that many others are going through the same difficulty. Employment loss is not unusual. In the light of this, he or she shouldn’t feel “singled out” or take the loss of employment personally.
3. Tell the inquirer he or she shouldn’t feel any less worthy. There is no reason to lose self-respect or to feel inadequate.
4. Tell him or her to remain confident and not to panic because God knows, loves, and cares. We must learn to trust Him.
5. Encourage praying that God will help him or her to weather the financial strain, provide for family needs, and open a new door of employment.
6. Suggest that he or she share the problem with Christian friends who may also pray, and with a sympathetic pastor who may be able to offer help in seeking employment opportunities.
7. Discourage taking out frustrations on the spouse or children. They will stand by the jobless person in the emergency. All are in it together, and the crisis can actually serve to strengthen family solidarity. They should find it helpful to pray together as a family.
8. Introduce the inquirer to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, if the conversation reveals that he or she does not know Him. Share the gospel – Christian Biblical Counsel: STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD.
“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Psalm 37:25, NIV).
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7, NIV).
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength. . . . And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:13, 19, NIV).
The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook; World Wide Publications, 1984, 1996