A Biblical Perspective on the World of Work and Witness
January 17, 2007 • By R. Dwight Hill
If you tend to view the work world as:
- A place of necessary drudgery,
- A spot where you can bolster your sense of self-importance,
- An escape from reality, yourself, family responsibilities, etc.,
- A locale, where for 40 or 50 hours a week you venture from your private castle into the evil empire to pay your dues in order to collect your compensation,
Then I would like to challenge you to "a radically different way of thinking about our world. Instead of running from it, we need to rush into it. Instead of just hanging outside the fringes of our culture, we need to be right smack dab in the middle of it…I’ve always wondered why we could be so quick to sacrifice our children to become missionaries but stand in the way of their becoming broadcast journalists, film and television actors, photographers and painters. It’s almost as if we believe God is strong enough to take care of His own only as long as they stay within the safety of the Christian ghetto."+
"Why is it so many believers in Christ are so abysmally ineffective for God in the workplace? Could it be because "too many…have given the Gospel a bad reputation by their crude, insensitive, soapbox approach to evangelism. What’s worse, many do it without a lifestyle and work style to back it up. The order is terribly important! If you want to win a hearing for the Gospel, start by being the best worker you can be and gain the respect of your peers. Match that work style with a lifestyle so unique and distinctive that your co-workers will want to know why. If that happens you’ll probably have plenty of opportunities to discuss your faith." ++
If we are to be effective witnesses for Christ in today’s rough and tumble world of commerce, then we will need to engage the lost "at the conference table, in the boardrooms, on the factory floor, at the drafting table, on the construction site, on the golf course – wherever they work, wherever they spend their time. (Effective witnesses) view sharing their faith with others as a process, rather than an event. So instead of preaching they look for opportunities to meet needs. Instead of forcing God into conversations they live lives of integrity, grace and compassion, to the point that those around them can’t help but wonder what makes them different. Instead of viewing themselves as Gospel salesmen, they think of themselves as consultants, interested only in helping others and adding eternal value to their lives.
"(Effective witnesses) understand what Christ meant when He talked about being salt and light in a tasteless and dark world and they live it–day in and day out. They live it when they talk respectfully to their spouse on the phone at work. They live it through their reaction when someone else gets the promotion. They live it when they do their work–from the most menial task to the largest project–cheerfully and to the absolute best of their ability." +++
Jesus: Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men…Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matt. 4:19; 5:16)
Peter: 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… (I Pet. 3:15b MSG.)
Paul: Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. (Col. 4:5,6 – MSG.)
+The Lamb’s Roar, Bob Briner; ++ Keeping Your Ethical Edge Sharp, Doug Sherman and William Hendricks (NavPress, 1990); +++Living Your Faith in the Workplace, Thomas Addington and Steven Graves.
Written by R. Dwight Hill factsofthematter.org ©2003 R. Dwight Hill. Unlimited permission to copy without altering text or profiteering is granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice. Content distributed by HisChurchatWork.org > used for non-profit teaching purposes only