By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
A common suggestion in the world is to avoid the topics of religion and politics, yet Jesus called His followers to go forth and spread the Gospel. Where then does this leave followers of Christ, especially in the workplace?
It can be tempting to want to keep work-life and personal-life separate. Should we close our mouths and stay silent to abide by the status quo and to not rock the boat, or should we loudly proclaim? What is the best way to be professional, but above all else do as Jesus called for?
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1. Check Your Heart
To properly approach such a sensitive and often at times subjective topic, we must check our hearts first. All too often it can be easy for Christians to fall into a false sense of pride and arrogance in judgment.
Perhaps this is a trap door set in place by the enemy, but it is something that is clearly addressed through the life of Jesus of being counter to His heart for how His followers should live.
In the story of the adulteress women about to be stoned in John 8 Jesus states, “ye without sin, cast the first stone.” This means that whoever is without sin can cast judgment--and all walked away for they had committed sins.
We must be mindful that we too are sinners, so we should not impose judgment upon others, or interact with them in a way that they would feel judged. This does not mean that we encourage or participate in their sin, but we can sit with them, we can encourage them, and we can love them.
That is what Jesus did with the adulteress woman, as He did with many others. He did not make them feel judged, He helped them feel loved and seen.
Live as a follower of Christ and live as He did in a way of love, kindness, and with open arms rather than isolating others to feel judged or unworthy. We must check the planks in our own eyes first. The Gospel is about love, not judgment!
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2. Share the Gospel through Living It
Often times we have the ability to share the Gospel through how we conduct our lives, without even needing to say, “Jesus.”
Fred Rogers was the creator and host of the famous children’s program, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood which taught children life lessons, tackled heavy subjects, but also encouraged children in what it means to walk in a life of love. Mr. Rogers never explicitly said the name of Jesus on air, but he demonstrated what it meant to live like Jesus in every intentional action.
Fred Rogers was in fact an ordained minister, which was no surprise. Like Fred Rogers how we choose to live differently will speak volumes among our peers even beyond the words we say.
He wisely shared in America’s Favorite Neighbor, “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
At times being there to listen, offering warmth towards someone, or being kind is the loudest way we can truly express the Gospel through our lives. You never known how much a genuine word of encouragement can mean to someone, or a sincere and intentional way to help someone feel seen.
That is how Jesus lived, and as followers we are to follow the example He lead during His time on earth in the flesh.
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3. Let the Holy Spirit Guide
It is imperative to let the Holy Spirit lead us when it comes to interactions with others.
Romans 8:5-6 explains, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
We must let the Holy Spirit guide and direct us in opportunities and when we are called to act or speak. That inner feeling will nudge us in the right direction when opportunities arise.
Although workplaces are often considered just for work, we cannot neglect the truth the human element of the workplace. We do not work solely with machines that do not have emotions, problems, pains, or need compassion.
We work among peers who are human beings, they are far more dynamic. Pray and invite the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how to navigate and encourage when called those around you in the proper way. This could be listening without distracted interference, or perhaps even praying for or with someone.
The Lord will make it clear to you what your responsibility or call could be in a given situation.
Remember too that the Lord hears your prayers for that person, even if they never know you were praying for them. If He does move you to speak remember too that you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven first, and then an employee of your workplace.
Let the Spirit of God guide, direct, and embolden your heart for the proper open door to share love.
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4. Little Seeds Grow Big Trees
Sharing about the Lord has often been compared to as planting a seed.
Spiritual seeds may take years to connect and grow, and it is very seldom that we watch the fruit come to pass. This does not mean it was not important, nor does it go unnoticed by the Lord.
Think of it like Johnny Appleseed planting seeds all across the United States, he did not know which ones would thrive into a massive apple tree, or which ones would blow away in the wind, but he trusted that planting a seed was a valuable action to take.
We herald him now for planting literal seeds that have produced far more fruit that we can even measure, and in the same way spiritual seeds will go on to plant more than we can know. Perhaps the seed you plant will emerge years later in revelation to the person, and perhaps it will yield a harvest bountiful and great.
It is not to be planted that you take glory for yourself in the harvest, rather, plant the seed and trust God with the seed’s progression, knowing ultimately it is for His glory.
Recall Paul’s explanation in 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, “ What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
God makes things grow, but He uses His people very often to plant the seeds.
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5. Do Life Together
Much of sharing your faith and walk through life is to do life with others as well.
We should not pursue relationship with coworkers purely to minister to them, but check our motives to do life with them as well because we desire friendship and relationship with those around us. Jesus did this through meals, spending time with people, and fostering relationship with others.
This opens the doorway for memories to be made, friendships to grow, and for potential for deeper conversations to be had as well. Sharing a genuine interest in others, and an authentic view of your own life is important.
We know the Christian walk is not always easy, but there is an enduring hope and grace in walk with Jesus through the hardships of life.
Often those who do not know God, or have been given a false perception of what it means to follow Christ do not realize the beauty of what a relationship with God really looks like. Perhaps sharing about your relationship with God, or seasons you have faced and how the Lord saw you through it will shed light on what it means to abide in Christ.
Gracefully expressing what it means to be a believer and an honest follower is vulnerable, but it does provide entry to provoking thought and consideration. Additionally, this also leads to opportunity for your life to be blessed through relationship in friendship as well.
You never know what a friendly cup of coffee could lead to.
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6. You Cannot Save Anyone, but Jesus Can
Remember too that it does not fall on you to save souls, for in truth you cannot save a soul. You are not a savior, but Jesus is.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit that can bring Light into the darkness of a situation. This does not mean that the Lord may not call upon you to be a vessel for Him, or speak through you, but it is not on your shoulders to save someone.
First seek His Kingdom, His Spirit, His timing, and His lead and invite Him to use you in situations when they arise. Ask the Lord whom He may want you to get to know, or ask Him to highlight someone in your life that could use a friend, a kind word, or a listening ear.
We can become consumed in our own lives and easily not notice those around us, but perhaps the Lord wants us to stop only considering our own lives, and wants us to connect with another person. Rely on His guidance in this connection, and rest in His ability to do far more than we can.
He is looking for our obedience to what He calls us to, not our perfection. Be encouraged as well that perhaps through being a Light to others you too may find encouragement for your own soul.
We thank You for our places of work and for where You have placed us in employment. We know that it is no coincidence that You have us in a specific field or job at this specific time. Help us be keen and sensitive to Your nudging and to have good discernment when it comes to how and when we are to speak. Help us encourage our neighbors in grace, love, and sincerity, never making them feel judged or lowly, but truly help us to live as You did in love. If we are to speak and encourage our neighbor in sharing the Gospel in full give us direction and open doors of opportunity and help our neighbor to have an open heart and ear. Above all else please use us for Your glory and help us to remember that it is for Your glory than men are saved, not our own.
In Jesus name,
It can make you feel anxious or stressed to consider talking about Jesus in the workplace, but remember that we must let Him lead and open the doors. Let the Spirit guide the way in order that you do not doubt your actions, but instead you trust Him with the outcomes.
Remember too that planting a seed can take years to grow and you may never see the fruit, but you did correctly in obeying. Vulnerability invites connection with our neighbors, and that is what living as the Body of Christ is all about.