A business owner recently read through my resume and called me to set up an interview for the part-time work opportunity she had available. While we were on the phone scheduling that meeting, she stated, “There’s one thing I want to ask you about now.” Turns out, she was curious about what “faith-based” means on the line of my resume that reads: “Facilitate faith-based private and group classes in stretching, strengthening, and relaxation.”
For a quick second, I wondered if this matter was going to have an issue of some kind connected to it. But, just as quickly as that thought floated through my mind, there was the immediate guidance of The Holy Spirit equipping me to be bold in my explanation. There would be no sugar-coating or softening about what faith-based means for me and the classes I teach. While I was initially unsure about why this question was raised, I was sure I had to speak up about my faith and let the potential impressions fall where they may.
“My Stretch, Strengthen & Relax” classes are taught with a Christian focus,” I explained. “Because spiritual fitness is as much a part of my classes as physical fitness, Christian readings and inspirations are incorporated throughout the class for nurturing the spirit just as the physical exercises serve to tone the body.”
“I like that!” she exclaimed.
Considering this is a subject I love to talk about, there was no way that I could just stop there. I continued: “Yes, it’s definitely important that we take care of our physical bodies, but I believe it’s just as important to work on our spiritual fitness, too. If I were to only focus on the physical side of class, it would feel incomplete to me.”
The reply I received on the other end of the phone let me know, without a shadow of a doubt, that she and I were cut from the same cloth. As a result, this conversation went to places I had no idea it would when I first answered her call. Our thoughts were very much in sync. We were vibing in Christ, even finishing each other’s sentences at times. There was no doubt that she and I strive to glorify Jesus in our daily walk, and it was as if God had just said: “Penny, here you go… Meet yet another one of your sisters in Christ.”
The topic led us to talking about our shortcomings as followers of Christ, and how His forgiveness is consistently required due to the fallen nature of us humans. “I spend a lot of time apologizing (to Him),” she stated. I loved her honesty. We chatted about how God very much understands why we stumble, and thus has provided numerous Biblical lessons about the importance of asking for His forgiveness, and receiving it. What a great conversation we had, all stemming from this hyphenated word on my resume: faith-based.
Toward the end of the conversation, I asked: “When you first read the word ‘faith-based’ on my resume, did you automatically connect it to the Christian faith?”
“No, I didn’t,” she replied. The, she paused and said, “But, I asked.”
“Now that I’m talking to you about this, I need to fix that on my resume,” I noted.
That conversation inspired me to look back at an earlier copy of my resume, when that line initially read: “Facilitate Christ-centered private and group classes in stretching, strengthening, and relaxation. “Hmmh, so why did I change it from “Christ-centered” to “faith-based?” Was it because I noticed many others who share my faith using that terminology? And not that I’m one to follow the crowd, but perhaps I did in this instance. However, before another copy of my resume gets passed on, “faith-based” will return to “Christ-centered.” Being clear about this is important to me.
This subject reminds me of when my son was first working on the structure of a resume in a business class during his freshman year of high school. He asked me if it was okay to list something God-related on it (although I can’t quite remember the specifics at this time.) Thrilled that he even considered doing that, my reply to him was, “Of course it’s okay! And if a potential employer doesn’t hire you because of that reason, well, the way I see it, that wasn’t the job for you.”
Given that the Word tells us that our faith should be a part of ALL aspects of our lives, I’m not going to dance around my Christ-centered faith on a resume or otherwise, especially considering the exercise work I do completely stands on the shoulders of Christ. For the sake of clarity, no, I’m not saying that a faith-based subject needs to show up on every resume. I’m just saying that if a “Christ-centered” class is what I teach, it needs to be clearly stated as that on my resume.
I recall the special feeling I got when I first put the word “Christ-centered” on my resume. It felt like a sweet and simple opportunity to glorify His name on a piece of paper that would go out to the world to represent me to potential employers and/or business partners. But, ultimately, it would represent Him. And that’s all I really want to do in the work that I do: represent Him!