A different type of resume

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Friday, March 29, 2019


Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea. 2 Corinthians 11:25 NIV

Some people have very impressive resumes. Reading those resumes can make others feel like a failure. I recently interviewed a candidate for a position at my job. She had a stellar resume with many years of experience. During the interview, I asked her if she is willing to meet the requirements of the position. To the surprise of the interviewing team she said, “No, I’m not. This is too much work and responsibility. That’s not what I want to do.”

Words on paper cannot tell the real story about a person. No one highlights perseverance, humility, or commitment, or a willingness to sacrifice for the success of the organization, in a resume. A resume is designed to impress and inform. But it does not say anything about the character of the candidate.

In today’s text, Paul presents his resume as a missionary and apostle. Most churches today would probably not offer Paul a Sr. Pastor position. His resume does not say the school he attended, although he was trained by the best teacher/rabbi of his time, and was considered the best student in his rabbinical school. Paul’s education was equivalent to attending Harvard or Princeton or Oxford.

Paul did not include the number of churches he started, and the number of religious leaders he trained. Most biblical scholars agree that Paul began 14 to 20 churches. Paul was the most prolific epistle writer in the New Testament, a skilled debater, and renowned theologian.

Yet what Paul highlighted in his ministry resume is his character and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead of mentioning his accomplishments, he noted his trials. What I read from his resume in today’s text is someone who works well under pressure, and puts the success of the organization over his personal goal and agenda. In his resume, I see a candidate who delays short term gains for long term rewards and will do whatever necessary to accomplish a task.

What do people think when they read your resume? Do they walk away thinking that you are a man or woman of character? Is your resume so impressive that it causes some people to believe that you are too good to be true?

The world encourages us to make ourselves seem too good to be true on paper. Though we are sometimes asked about our strengths and weaknesses during interviews, no one wants to see weaknesses in a resume. Paul’s resume includes all of his weaknesses and none of his strengths.

The good news is that we do not have to pad our resumes for God. He wants us to be real with him, and in our service to his kingdom. When people ask us about ourselves, we don’t have to impress them with our accomplishments. Instead, we should let them know about our struggles as followers of Jesus Christ. 

We help people more when we highlight our weaknesses instead of bragging about our strengths. Parents should share their struggles and failures in raising their children to help younger parents cope. Couples that are trying to make their marriage work should hear about the things that more seasoned couples have done to sustain their marriage through disagreements, poor communication, selfish attitudes, etc. People that have succeeded in their career should talk more about the things not to do to be successful.

Most importantly, more seasoned Christians should not pretend they’ve always been godly. Instead, we should remind people we are sinners. We should let them see our challenges and weaknesses, instead of strengths and accomplishments. For in the end, what really matters is who we are in Christ Jesus.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, may we learn to be more concern about developing godly character than accomplishing earthly success. 

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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