I recently found out that one of my coworkers, Danny*, got promoted to a new role at work, which was surprisingly difficult news for me to hear. It was probably such difficult news for me to hear because I had been hired a couple months before he had been hired, yet I hadn’t been promoted. What made the situation even more difficult was that, about a week later, I found out that another one of my coworkers, Nina*, also got promoted to a new role. And Nina had been hired several months after I had been hired.
When I heard about Danny’s and Nina’s promotions, I started to drown in unnecessary disappointment and embarrassment.
So Danny and Nina got promoted instead of me? I thought. Why didn’t I get promoted? Everyone in this company is probably wondering why Danny and Nina got promoted but I didn’t. I mean, am I doing something wrong? What am I doing wrong? What’s wrong with me?
When Life Stings
To be honest, I was pretty shocked that Danny and Nina got promoted—not because they weren’t great people but because they were so new to our company. They had only been working for our company for less than a year at the time of their promotions, while I had been working for our company for more than a year. That really stung.
When news started to spread about Danny’s and Nina’s promotions, they handled it really well. Our team congratulated them, and they expressed gratitude.
I wanted to be excited for Danny and Nina. I wanted to be okay with not getting promoted. And I wanted to trust God because I knew that His plan, not mine, was best. But I just felt bitter.
Trusting the Planner
O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. (Isaiah 25:1 NASB1995)
Obviously, I realize that this verse (and the book of Isaiah in general) isn’t about how to handle a situation when a coworker gets the promotion that you wanted. But this verse did remind me of the faithfulness behind each and every detail of God’s plan. We have a responsibility as Christians to thank God for His faithfulness toward us, even in (or perhaps, especially in) moments when we’re tempted to drown in self-pity and resentment.
There’s no reason why I need to be embarrassed or resentful or even bummed about my coworkers getting promotions instead of me. In fact, it would be impossible to figure out exactly why Danny and Nina earned promotions and I didn’t. Only God knows. But I do know that He works in amazing ways—according to His timetable. His plan has been formed for eternity, and it is trustworthy because He is trustworthy.
*Names have been changed.