Work is a considerable part of our lives. We spend more of our waking hours at work rather than anywhere else. Therefore how we relate to people we meet at work - firstly work mates, but also customers, suppliers etc. - is an essential part of our walk with God.Work is part of the original plan
- Work is not a result of the curse
- God works (Gen 2:3)
- Work will continue in heaven!
The problem is that sin entered the world in the garden of Eden which has caused a breakdown of relationships. This has led to a hostile environment. (John 17,14-15/Mt 10:16)God wants us to set the standard and influence others in godliness in our workplace
"People say something by the hours they keep, by their punctuality or lack thereof, by the way they deal with their spouse on the phone, by the comments they make about customers or co-workers after they leave, by the way they fill out their reports, and even by their personal appearance and habits. This conversation is far more involved than mere personalities. It is a conversation loaded with value statements."Value Statement #1: Be positive!
"Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." (Phil. 2,14f)
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Jesus you are serving." ( Col 3,22f)Value Statement #2: Set an example in Purity
Stand out by setting an example of the things you say, the things you look at, the things you laugh about.Value Statement #3: Don't compromise your Integrity
There are challenges every day to compromise our integrity. It could be the temptation of a "white lie" to get out of trouble or to "bend the rules" to achieve your goals.
Remember: "If a man or woman of integrity loses their success they still have their character, but the only thing that makes a charlatan worth knowing is his success; he better not lose it."Value Statement #4: Take the Initiative in Conflict Resolution
Conflicts can have various causes:
Value Statement #5: Stand Firm
- Is it me - then take the initiative and apologise (Mt 5,23-26)
- Is it God's favour on my life? (commonly called success)
- Is it my belief system?
- Is it that the person has a problem with themselves?
Being a Christian does NOT mean that others can just walk over us.Value Statement #6: Resist Gossip
"Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say" (Ecc.10:20)
"He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself from calamity" (Prov. 21:23)Communicate your faith
The workplace is a great environment to share your faith because of the time we spend there and the fact that people know us and we know them well. Be ready for the divine appointment - it might not be at a time that you expect. It can be at lunch break, in the middle of a discussion, meeting a salesperson Be prepared!God has got great plans for your place of work
"Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jer 29:7)Discussion Questions:
- Why do you think that work is an important part of our walk with God?
- What are some of the major challenges you face at work as a Christian?
- Which areas have you identified requiring change in your life at work?
- How do you feel about sharing your faith with others at the workplace?