You invest more than one-third of your life at work. Punch the clock, turn on the computer, start your engines at 8 a.m., rest a few minutes at noon, but keep your mind and body in gear till the sun has set. Then tomorrow — repeat. Sound familiar?
So how can your relationship with God grow in all this? The easy temptation is to separate your life into two parts: career — public; faith — private.
But considering how much of your life you spend engaged in your career, perhaps that is the ideal place to grow in your relationship with Christ. Can you identify with these common arenas where your faith meets life?
Giving Faith a Face
Your friends at work know you are “religious” because...
You have mentioned occasionally that you are involved at church.
You’ve promised to pray for them as they go through a crisis.
There’s just that “something” about you: different yet attractive.
They’ve seen you go through a crisis and still maintain that “something.”
Whatever your style, ask the Lord to make your life a sweet “fragrance of the knowledge of him” (2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV). Look for ways to model God’s grace and “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV).
Heated Comments and Cold Shoulders
Throughout the workday, have you ever found yourself thinking?
I wish we could have one conversation that didn’t end in aggravation.
His memo floored me. How could he assume that of me? Why should I be the one to say anything? I’ll just get stuck shouldering the blame. This place feels like a television series. Sometimes it’s a drama. Sometimes a soap opera. But it’s never Happy Days.
Often on the stage of conflict, your faith grows even stronger. Behind the power plays or misunderstandings, you can trust that God is in control. Ask Him to help you to model Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV): “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
In over Your Head
Sometimes, in the middle of the workday, do you catch yourself thinking...
How in the world did I end up here?
I may look “all together,” but I hope no one realizes how fast my heart is racing.
What do people really expect of me? Am I measuring up?
How could I ever live for God in this place?
Centuries ago, a woman named Esther shared any one of these responses. The lesson for her life — and yours — can be summed up in Esther 4:14: “Who knows [if God hasn’t placed you here] for such a time as this?” God has planned each event of your job so that you have opportunity to trust Him. (Meditate on Proverbs 3:5-6.) What do you need to entrust to Him today?
As you head off to work tomorrow, believe that God is also at work — in the conflicts, in the opportunities, and in the heart of your day.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, "Faith in the Workplace," Insights (May 2000): 1-2.Copyright © 2000, Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.