10 Ways to Work for Christ

13 Dec

Last week I gave an account of how difficult I have found being in the workplace. It seemed to ring true with many of you and you have provided some excellent examples of how you have overcome this in your lives.

Whilst I in no way consider myself to be an expert, let me add my own ideas on how to the workplace can be made a place of worship:

1. Use Your Commute Well

Most people have a long commute into work and the freedom can be easily redeemed. Some may use it for prayer, listening to exhorting songs or even memorising scripture. I listen to sermons and lectures. However you use it, make sure your commute is made the most of.

2. Be Kind to Your Coworkers

It doesn’t take much to do something kind for a coworker. Can you cover their shift or help them with a difficult task? These simple acts of kindness are an easy way to show the love of Christ to those you are with.

3. Stay Out of Gossip

It’s very easy to get caught up in attacks on other staff members, especially the leadership. If you don’t get involved in this, others will notice. Whilst at first they may shun you for it, eventually they will see that you are a trustworthy and loving person. Everyone knows a gossip probably gossips about you just as much as your enemy. If you are not a gossip you quickly can become a friend to many people.

4. Seize Opportunities to Share the Gospel.

It’s good to know that even the apostle Paul had to pray “that God may open to us a door for the word” (Colossians 4:3). We too should pray for these opportunities and also learn to take them. So often my coworkers will blaspheme God or talk about an issue I have strong feelings on. These are open doors for me to share the message, and I don’t take them. I want them to be saved from hell to relationshi with Christ, and these are opportunities to preach to them the word they need. I must take them and so must you.

5. Plan Your Days

Richard gave a great example of this in his comment on the last post. I wish I could be as disciplined as he is. It’s certainly important to arrange your days in a way that will allow you to fit in the things you need to do.

6. Be Honest

Lying is almost accepted at most workplace “Oh I left that item at home…the computer ate it”. But honesty is a great witness, honest people can be trusted. Also remember this applies for your CV too. The worst thing you could do is lie on your CV and then have to eat humble pie after getting the job. Don’t ruin your witness, speak the truth not only when you tell the Gospel but in day to day life.

7. Set Yourself Targets

This is something I have started doing. It was an idea I got from CJ Mahaney who has an objective for himself as husband, father and pastor. It’s so easy to forget to apply the challenges we have in sermons. So if we every week think of something specific we can do in our workplace for the Lord we may not forget it so easily.

8. Be Gracious to Those Under You

This is straight from God himself (Ephesians 6:5-9). They are not any less than you so treat them with respect. Most bosses lord it over those below them. A humble witness will bring glory to the God who humbled himself on the cross.

9. Pray Throughout the Day

This is something I fail to do, but many have said helps them. Offering up short prayers as certain things arise will help build that consistent dependence on God that is essential. Of course these prayers can not replace prayers for spiritual blessings (which I would argue is the chief purpose of a lot of prayer passages in the Bible) but they are still very important.

10. Work as if Christ Were Your Boss.

Again this is not my Word but his. I’ll let Paul explain it himself.

Slaves,obey your earthly masterswith fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servantsof Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.(Ephesians 6:5-8)

Isn’t it amazing that if you do any God the Lord will accept it as a gift to him. It is not only preachers that do work for the Lord. If you stay after work to help a stressed coworker, God accepts it. If I really knew that I think that would make a profound difference to me.

What else?

What have I missed? I know you guys have plenty more experience than me, what advice would you add?

(Picture “Point Four Touch Point of Sale Till by Howard.Gees under the Creative Commons Licence)

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6 Responses to “10 Ways to Work for Christ”

  1. Eshu December 13, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Hey Tim,

    That sounds like generally good advice. With number 4 however, I’d say that before you start sharing your beliefs with others, it is worth considering how you would feel about someone else sharing their alternative religion with you. If you’d be annoyed to have a colleague share their beliefs on say, Buddhism, you should be slow to start lecturing them on what you believe.

    From Ephesians 6:5-8 alone I think you can tell that Paul wasn’t a slave, but someone is a position of relative power!

  2. Tim Wilson December 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    A good addition. It is definitely important that the conversation be a discussion.
    There is plenty of evidence Christians engaged with the culture. Paul in Athens discusses their gods and prophets (Acts 17), so he must have known what they said. Jesus asks people what they think regularly (i.e. Mark 11:27-32), indeed this was how Rabbis debated back then. So I totally agree.

    Some Jehovah’s Witnesses came to our house and they were indoctrinated to believe the Greek said such and such a thing. My Dad got out his Greek New Testament and showed it didn’t. What did the JW big wigs do? Blacklisted our house, because they were scared we might convert their members.

    Christians should have no such fears as our faith is true.

    Our culture seems to go one of two ways (and every religion does this, including atheism):

    1) Reject the harsh views of other religions and your own, expecting a fuzzy “we all believe the same” relativism (which is probably another religion anyway).

    2) Believing strongly in your views and trying to force views on other people.

    The middle line is a to accept we both have different views and only one can be right and discussing the consequences. Our message is about personal faith, not brainwashing.

    And in reference to the article, I would love to chat to the person who wrote it, though I think they’re misguided on many points.

    By the way, when you hear slaves don’t think Africans shipped off in trade ships, slaves in the Bible did not have such a terrible existance. It was more like a full-time contract (but without an escape clause). Most ancient Greek philosphers were slaves, as they needed a patron. It wasn’t a terrible position.

    And if you read v9 you wil see that Paul is harsh on both. Both having authority and being under it can cause sin. I’ve been in workplaces where the employers have been harsh to the employees and the employees have been spiteful to the employers. Marxist/socialist/feminist ideas that those in authority are evil is too simplistic. All of us are evil.

    Thanks for your addition!

  3. Andrew Noble December 14, 2008 at 11:32 pm #

    Tim, I like it.

    – Ever since I started catching the bus to work every day, I have been blessed with some great books that I have ploughed through.

    – It’s true, people do notice when you stay out of gossip.

    – Putting in your two cents worth from a Christian perspective is important when people make comments that give you an opportunity to share the gospel (or an aspect of it)

    – Working as if Christ were your boss – now there’s a challenge!

    Also, I would extend “Pray Throughout the Day” to “Praise Throughout the Day”. Thank God for the little things he does for you and always acknowledge Him in everything you do.

    I think if all Christians would seriously take on your principles above, then we could have a much greater impact on our workplaces. So my challenge to readers and to myself is to start being more purposeful in how we go about our lives.

  4. Eshu December 15, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    All of us are evil.

    Speak for yourself! :-)

    Actually, I don’t think you’re evil. In fact I could hardly disagree more with that last statement!

  5. Eshu December 15, 2008 at 7:47 am #

    Oh and yes, the JWs do believe some pretty odd things based on a single Bible verse and for the most part I see their religion as the worst parts of Christianity magnified to absurdity. However, there are a few things I think they have right, for example the shape of the crucifix.

    Incidentally I think I may be blacklisted by the JWs too! Hehe, how terrible for me!

  6. Tim Wilson December 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    Andrew, glad you enjoyed it. I like your emphasis on praise. Definitely worth adding.

    Eshu, I must have given a wrong impression of myself, I’m definitely evil!

    Yeah maybe the JWs are right on the shape of the cross. It’s a point I’m more than willing to concede. However, I’m not going to change my site logo, a stake in the ground would just be confusing.

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