In Our WorkplaceBack to Today's Devotional
Also, 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.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…
“I know God wants me to follow Him, so I attend church and serve in the community when and where I can. But I'm an accountant/teacher/lab technician/machine operator. I don't intentionally leave God out, but work doesn't seem to be very God-friendly either.”
Do those phrases sound familiar? Have you had similar thoughts about your workplace?
When I taught in a public school, I was not allowed to teach from a distinctively Christian point of view. To do so would be to misuse my position of authority over my students, and their grades, risking the perception that they must agree with me or jeopardize their standing. I would not misuse my power like that, but I can see why the public-school system needs that rule.
However, I consistently felt I had to stop just before we got to the real reason behind why the material I was teaching to my students really mattered.
So, what is a Christian teacher to do? Or a Christian manager at a big-box store?
The Gotham program at our church delves into this question extensively, so if you have similar questions, please check it out. In the meantime, here are some beginning thoughts for how to be a “full-time Christian” at work as well as at home:
1) Follow Jeremiah 29:7, especially if you are in a non-Christian workplace. As God commanded the Israelites in exile to seek the prosperity of the people around them, so too we are called to work in such a way that those around us do not just survive, but thrive.
2) Ultimately, do everything for God's glory, not for the company bottom line, not for promotion, not for selfish gain.
3) Look for areas, processes, or relationships within your work that could be improved or changed to give God glory. Is there a lack of communication between two departments? Pray and ask God to show you how you can help restore that.
Returning to my situation as a teacher, what if I could foster and encourage a culture of questioning in the classroom that sought out the reason why? What if I could teach my students to be true students, asking “why” and “how,” fostering curiosity by being the ones to ask the questions. How is it that the world can be so well measured and explained by mathematics? Why is conflict such a central part of the story arc in literature? And on and on. Some questions can only be answered by acknowledging or denying God's involvement.
Questions for reflection and discussion: What is your vision for being a “full time” Christ-follower, even in the workplace? Do you see a difference between being in Christian ministry, and being a Christian ministering wherever you may be?
Today’s devotion was written by Joel Duncan.
Four of our devotions this week were written by Melissa Duncan. Melissa and her family attend Tri-Village. Wednesday’s devotional was written by Melissa’s husband, Joel, who is our Director of Local Outreach.