As a human resources administrator, I am required to maintain the employee handbook, ensuring it complies with and mirrors current employment and labor laws. When a new employee starts work, one of the first items they receive is a copy of this manual. It sets forth the policies and procedures for office and personnel, conduct, ethics, forms and formats, disciplinary issues and … the benefits. No doubt this is the most popular section of this otherwise dry missive. While the rest of the information is important, it’s rather tedious reading and actually doubles as a great aid in relieving insomnia.
But when it comes time for vacation, paid sick time or insurance coverage, this is the section employees run to and study intimately.
Indeed, in an interview there are usually three things at the top of the prospective employee’s mind: selling their unique skill set and experience to the interviewer, pay, and benefits. The old what’s-in- it-for-me? Two of the three items are self-centered. It’s more about what I get if I work for you than what you get by hiring me. To be fair though, this makes sense because most people work because they need a paycheck - not because they are bored.
It is said that the Bible is the Believer’s manual for living: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. In it, you will find all the instructions for living right and the consequences for not doing so. There are procedural instructions for conducting ministry, personal finances, raising children, marrying and staying married. There are chapters that explain how to avoid potentially fatal errors, how to rectify mistakes, how to conduct one’s self in all circumstances, and what kind of attitude is appropriate. It is the Word of Life. It is the Believer’s Handbook.
One of my favorite sections in the Bible is the benefits chapter.
This is the chapter I run to when I get weary, beat up, talked about, embarrassed, slandered, pressed down and struck down. Walking on the path of faith isn’t always fun. It’s not easy – and very often is difficult, painful and tiring. Much like an employee who has come to a point where she is weary or sick, I run to the benefits chapter to remind myself just what’s in it for me.
He forgives ALL my sins.
He heals ALL my diseases.
He redeems my life from DESTRUCTION.
He crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies EVERYDAY.
He fills my mouth with GOOD things and renews my strength so I can soar like the eagle.
He provides JUSTICE to me when I am oppressed. (He’s got my back!)
He is merciful and GRACIOUS.
He is SLOW to anger.
He is abounding in MERCY.
He will NOT stay angry at me.
He does not punish me ACCORDING TO MY SINS.
This is a benefits package that is unmatched anywhere!
Unlike the employee manual at my office, this Handbook never has to be updated to reflect the latest legislation. God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can take a great deal of comfort in this knowledge. The rules never change. And neither do the benefits.
Whenever you become weary in well-doing, just open your Believer’s Handbook to Psalm 103 and remind yourself of the out-of-this-world benefit package that is all yours.