I am thankful that even though you have had trouble, it is in your past. Most of us have things in our past that we are ashamed of, things we wish we had done differently, or maybe even things that were illegal. As believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are told how we can get rid of sins that we have committed in our past. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we sin, we simply confess that sin to the Lord with truly repentant hearts and that sin is forgiven, PLUS we are cleansed from our unrighteous acts.

However, even with that wonderful truth, we are also told in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This is separate from forgiveness. This is a principle that applies to all men, saved and unsaved…our actions have consequences. If we steal and are caught, then we will be arrested and are subject to prosecution. We can confess this terrible sin and receive God’s forgiveness, but we are still obligated to face our judicial systems. After that, our actions could very well impact our ability to find a good job. If there are crimes in our past, it may prevent a prospective employer from hiring us. How should we handle this?

Let’s start by considering a basic and important scriptural principle. Romans 12:17 says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. PROVIDE THINGS HONEST IN THE SIGHT OF ALL MEN.” No matter what the situation is, we are told to be honest with EVERYONE. If you are filling out a job application and it asks if you have been convicted of a crime, then you are obligated to be truthful…even if it means that you might not receive the job.

I know a man who has a similar problem as you’ve stated. He had gotten into trouble, broken the law, and was convicted of a crime. Later, he applied for a management position and was hired because he was not honest on his application. His qualifications proved that he could do the job (and he could), but he received the job under false pretenses. After he began work, the company did a background check as a matter of policy. It was found that he was a convicted felon and he was immediately fired.

I will advise you, just as I advised him. Be honest on your job application. If there is something negative in your past, include it on your application. Then, you may be able to explain your situation to your prospective employer. You can talk about your past and how things have changed. You can admit your past errors and let them know that you have learned your lesson and am now a different person. You may not receive the job, but being honest will definitely have an impact, and it honors the Lord.

Along with applying for the job, ask the Lord to help you get this job if it be His will. Ask Him to help you be completely honest so that no hidden parts of your life will be revealed later. It is NEVER right to lie, so tell the truth, pray about the possibility of receiving the job you apply for, and whatever happens, thank the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” If you do not get the job you are applying for, perhaps the Lord has something different or better in store for you. (328.4)