Sometimes I take for granted how blessed I am to work for a Christian company. No one at Crosswalk.com is going to look at me differently if I talk about how a church service that I attended impacted me or if I ask for prayers for a struggle in my life. As a matter of fact, I have heard several of my co-workers say these things themselves.
But the reality for most workers in our country is that they do not work for a Christian company. Their co-workers and managers might judge them if they prayed before a meal or invited them to church. Some companies might even assume that the Christian employee is unintelligent and discount their abilities in the workplace.
Thankfully, as Tom Nelson points out in The Gospel Coalition excerpt, “How to Witness at Work,” Christians answer to a higher authority than their companies. Christians work for an audience of one.
Nelson writes, “When we live before an Audience of One, we have nothing to fear, nothing to hide, and nothing to prove. We can devote our complete energy to doing good work. We can practice the presence of God as we work and enjoy an ongoing conversation with him. As an overflow of our walk with Christ, we have the wonderful opportunity to bring a positive, joyful outlook to our daily work. Our attitudes can be the sweet aroma of Christ to those around us.”
Proverbs 16:3 put this concept of working for an audience of one more simply: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
As Christians, we have both responsibility and opportunity in the workplace. We are responsible for performing to the best of our abilities. At the same time, we have the opportunity to be a witness at work.
“I fear many of us who call ourselves Christians do not live up to that name in our work,” Nelson says. “Perhaps we need a fresh reminder that those who call themselves Christians are to behave differently.”
We are called to excellence. Slacking off or taking shortcuts is not the behavior that was modeled for us by Jesus, a carpenter. Instead, we must strive to rise above expectations, giving Christians a reputation of diligence and commitment.
As we pursue excellence in the workplace, we are given a rare opportunity to witness. This does not always have to be through speech. Your actions have the potential to be a more powerful witness than your words.
Nelson writes, “The excellence of our work often gives us the credibility to speak of the excellence of our Lord Jesus and to share the good news with our coworkers.”
Credibility is the key to be a witness. It is only when Christians are respected in the workplace that the Lord’s work can truly be done.
Crosswalk.com contributor Os Hillman writes that God declared work “very good” (Gen. 1:31). He writes, “That work – whether serving on the mission field—or delivering mail-- is a holy calling of God.”
Carrie Dedrick is the Family Editor for Crosswalk.com.
Publication date: November 20, 2015