Midway through my dermatopathology fellowship, over twenty five years ago, a surgical pathology fellow cautioned me about not being overly confident in the job security of my current position at our institution. After a department conference, he pulled me aside and said, “You’re pretty happy here, aren’t you?”
“I love it here!” I beamed.
“Don’t get too comfortable!” Turning me aside and whispering, he disclosed to me, “You know, every year, someone is always fired!”
“Come on!” He was known for his pranks and I was not about to become his latest willing victim.
“You didn’t know?” His serious expression immediately caused me to doubt my initial impression. He then rattled off unfamiliar names of former residents and research fellows, all fired within the last five years. “See! Be careful!”
I was horrified but quickly confirmed his revelations with others in the department. The dismissals were due to a wide mix of inappropriate behaviors ranging from gross incompetence to sexual harassment. Up to that point in my fellowship, I was sublimely happy and content with my position, completely clueless that my position was so tenuous. Although I was reasonably confident that I was adequately performing up to expectations and I wasn’t an HR nightmare for the department, the mere knowledge that I could be fired at any moment rattled my confidence.
This lack of confidence in my professional life paralleled my spiritual relationship with God. During this same period of time, I struggled with the security of my salvation. I wanted to please God but whenever I thought I failed, I felt as though I committed the unpardonable sin and forfeited my salvation. It not only rattled my confidence, it drained my spiritual vitality, rendering me impotent and a poor witness for Jesus Christ. I erroneously thought I could earn my salvation back and fell into the Satanic trap of believing I could perform enough good works to offset my sins, bringing me back into good standing with God.
…He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Hebrews 9:12 (ESV)
God graciously and mercifully showed me the error of my ways. Believing in my own goodness and efforts to reach God, I revealed the depths of depravity that sin had wrought upon my life. No action, no good work, could ever be enough to restore the broken relationship I had with God. Only by confessing and repenting of my sins and affirming that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior was I able to break free from the doubt and uncertainty over the security of my salvation. Like listening to my peers in my fellowship training program, I allowed myself to listen to the lies of the world instead of clinging to my relationship with Jesus Christ.
Once saved in Jesus Christ, always saved. Jesus Christ will never leave nor forsake us!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.