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by Tim Middleton

“I am so thankful for facebook. Otherwise I would have to call 563 people every morning to let them know that I just ate breakfast.” If you are young, you will probably respond very quickly and easily, either with a “lol” or simply a click of the ‘Like’ button. Or what about this? “Sunglasses: allowing you to stare at people without getting caught. It’s like facebook in real life.”

A lot of people have different views about facebook or other such social media networks. It keeps people in touch, some say; it is like a glorified soap opera; it is addictive; it wastes time; it provides comfort, and no doubt many more. In actual fact, it can be used as your CV! Seriously, all the facts that are on your CV are on your facebook page – where you studied and worked, places you have stayed, important moments in your life, your interests, your details, your favourite quotes. Those you are tagged by will be your referees. Even who your friends are says much about you. And which employer would not want to know what you think, how you feel, why you laugh, who you see and when you move? It would make it so much easier to apply for a job, then, if you simply sent the potential employer a “Friend Request” – done! What is more, you are being honest, when with the ‘official’ CV you probably are not.

Of course, people will be quick to tell you that it would not be good or right to present such a CV. Much time is spent trying to get the CV just right, as full of detail as possible which will show clearly that anyone that did not employ you would be utterly mad. Yet what makes a CV impressive? It is interesting that in the Bible the Apostle Paul wrote two CVs. In one he shared all the expected things that would clearly impress: “Circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.” [Philippians 3:4-6] In short, he ticked all the right boxes – he went to all the right schools and universities and got the right results; he had all the best jobs; he could not have a better CV. Yet in 2 Corinthians 11:21-30 he shared another CV, at greater length: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea…” And that was just the first page! Which CV is ‘better’? He actually found them both unimpressive. With the first one he went on to say that “I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own” while of the second one he said that “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”

The question, therefore, is not so much “How impressive is your CV?” but rather “How important is your CV?” Everyone is advised to develop their Curriculum Vitae (literally, ‘story of your life’) as any prospective employer will want to see one but you can have the most impressive CV in the world without getting a job. You may have the most impressive cricket bat available but if you are fielding most of the time, it does not matter what the bat is like!

A CV is only as important as it is relevant to the job. Someone may give Beyonce a brilliant song to sing but if it does not suit her voice or style then it is worthless, wasted. You may have a brilliant CV but if it has no connection to the job in question it is useless. Some people might think you are over-qualified for a job while some stores overseas ask potential shelf-fillers to have at least 2 A levels! The crazy thing is that to fill a shelf you do not need any A levels but they simply use that criteria to cut down on the number of applicants, yet in doing so they are losing out on the people who are most suited to the job.

However we have to go one stage further than that. Your CV is actually only as important as God makes it. The story of your life, your CV, is actually not the story of your life but the story of God in your life. He is the one who is behind it all. Here in Zimbabwe, we do not make it easy for ourselves when we try to make it easy for ourselves! Zimbabweans are known worldwide for the saying, “We’ll make a plan!” when they have been faced with difficulty after catastrophe after setback but in doing so they are keeping God out of the equation.

God is the one who has plans for your life. That is what Paul realised with his two CVs. It is what I discovered when I could not get a job for nine months. I submitted countless CVs with applications, where all the criteria stated was clearly evident on my CV yet I hardly even got an interview, let alone a job. I could have done any of the jobs, I believe. But I did not get one. What I knew though was that God had a better plan for me and I know now that if I had been given any of those jobs I would not be back in this beloved country now in my position. So God builds up
our CVs, to prepare us precisely for the next job He has in store for us. “The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.” [Galatians 2:20]

So in that sense we do not need an impressive CV – we just need a God-filled and a God-planned CV. We should not live for our CV, so that we can impress people, but we should live in our CV. We should not worry about our CV for if we walk with the Lord He is creating the perfect CV for the plans He has for us. We should not put our trust in our CV
– it is not the CV that will get us the job but it is God who will. And all the CV is doing is preparing us for the next step of His way for us.

So, if you do not get that job you were thinking you would get with your fantastic CV, be consoled by the following: “I don’t mind if others don’t like me; after all, I am not a facebook status.” I am a faithbook servant.