Have you thought about the people you work with? How many hours do you see them?
We were challenged today to realize that we often see the people we work with more than we see our best friends.
Or do you see them as people who are individuals made in the image of GOD? People who have different perspectives and lifestyles. People who still need to be honored and respected because of the image of GOD in them.
What does it mean to be a Christian on the job?
For those with a world view that says there is a separation between sacred and secular (sometimes called a 2 story world view) with sacred being the upper story and secular being the lower story, being a Christian on the job looks different. It involves thinking that if I’m not talking about spiritual things, church, the Bible, etc. then I’m not being a “Christian” on the job.
However, there is another way of thinking. Another worldview that I’m discussing today. It is a more integrated worldview. It is based on a reformed view that says that all we do, worship, work, recreation, etc. is done before the face of GOD. Life isn’t divided into categories of sacred and secular.
For many, especially mothers, but certainly not limited to them, this is geat news! It isn’t always easy, but in many ways, it is good news. In order to be a Christian on the job…whether at home or out of the home, I treat others with respect. I do a good day’s work for my pay. I work as if my empoloyer is GOD…because ultimately He is. There is no job too menial or mundane for anyone to do because whatever we do, we do it for His glory and pleasure.
I treat the people I work with and for respectfully. I get to know them personally. I learn to speak their language…the language of their heart to the degree appropriate. By that I mean that I put things in a way that they will hear them best.
For example, if a person I work with has issues with power and wants to lord it over me, I am confident enough to put my information in the form of questions so that he will listen to my input better. If I do it in order to improve communication with that staff person, I am being professional. I am not getting tied up in power struggles all the time and delaying important care for my patient.
I know who I am in Christ so I don’t need to feel humiliated by any part of the process. I am just being professional and taking good care of my patient.
What is my job?
I show them the love and grace and honor of Christ. I may be a part of the chain that leads them to Christ. But showing them Christ is my job. Telling them may or may not be my job.
Can I trust GOD to manage the next steps? I’ve been learning to. I’ve seen it happen. Sometimes it takes years. Sometimes I don’t know the final outcome. Only GOD knows.
Can you imagine the powerful, vivid picture a life lived in this way would be? No, it won’t be perfect. People know no one is perfect. Sometimes I think non-Christians understand this better than Christians do! Think of the volumes a genuine apology would speak to a fellow employee.
GOD doesn’t just use our families and our church to change us to be more like Him. He uses the people with whom we spend much of our time…the people we work with! They know us well. They know if we are honest or moral. They know if we have integrity in terms of keeping promises to employees, doing quality work on our products or cutting corners.
The challenge is to let them see Jesus…
the saltiness and the Light of Him.
Of course, we need to know Him first.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:13-16
I’m in a series on this topic in Sunday School and some of the Scripture came from the sermon yesterday. My ideas aren’t really original at all! They are a processing of Sunday’s input and worship. Hat tip to Will Spink and Jean Larroux III. I hope they aren’t horrified at the way their ideas were processed.