By Robert J. Tamasy
How would you evaluate your current work situation? Is it the best job you have ever had? Is it adequate for the moment, but only a steppingstone for where you would like your career to go in the future? Are you actively looking for a better opportunity? Or is it a situation where you feel stuck, making it a daily challenge just to get out of bed and show up for work?
Most of us have probably been in two or three of those circumstances at least once. Even the best job, we must admit, is not perfect. The “ideal job” will still have elements we wish we could change; any time people are involved, there will be problems.
The question is, how are we doing in the job we presently have, whether we are excited to go to work every day or not? This is particularly important for those who are followers of Jesus, recognizing we are called to be “Christ’s ambassadors,” as 2 Corinthians 5:20 describes us. Are we difference-makers, reflecting the light of Christ to our employers, colleagues, customers, and others we encounter every day, or are we like coworkers who grumble and complain throughout the day?
In Psalm 90:17 we read this compelling request: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” There might be times when we look longingly toward other job opportunities, but as someone has observed, God expects us to serve and represent Him where we are – we certainly cannot serve and represent Him where we are not.
How do we go about reconciling our current work situation – good or bad – with our calling to be disciples of Jesus Christ wherever we go? Here are some principles from the Scriptures that can help:
We are to approach our work with peace and thankfulness. When we handle difficult situations with grace and joy, other people will notice. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful…. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Psalm 90:17).
We are to display the light of Christ through our work, as well as through our words. In a world dominated by darkness and evil, our faith in the Lord will shine ever more brightly. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden…. In the same way, let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
We are to reflect Christ’s presence through our pursuit of excellence. God does everything well. As His children, we should strive to do the same. “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29).
We are to become known for our honesty and integrity. In working environments where compromise is so common, we can stand out by our commitment to being honest and upholding integrity in all of our dealings. “Honest scales and balances are from the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of His making” (Proverbs 16:11). “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3).
© 2024. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
- Four different work scenarios are described, ranging from loving our jobs to feeling stuck in situations we struggle with every day. Describe your current circumstances and how you are dealing with them.
- What do you think of the psalmist’s request for God to “establish the work of our hands”? Another translation expresses it as “confirm for us the work of our hands,” as if God were saying, “Trust Me. I have you exactly where I want you, at least for now.” Do you sense this is true for you? Explain your answer.
- Imagine you are in a court of law, and someone accuses you of being “Christ’s ambassador.” Do you think there would be enough evidence to convict you? Why or why not?
- We are commanded to “let our light shine” in such a way that others will notice and ultimately, give glory to God. What do you think this means in a practical, everyday way – what does it look like?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 17:27, 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Colossians 3:23-24
Challenge for This Week
Seeking to serve and effectively represent Jesus Christ in the secular, often godless workplace can seem like a lonely, even overwhelming challenge. We cannot do this successfully on our own – and God does not expect us to do so. If your desire is to be known as a person who is living for Jesus where you work, it will be easier if you find other people for mutual support and encouragement. You may currently be in a CBMC group – a Connect 3 team, a Young Professionals or Trusted Advisors group – where you can find this kind of help. If not, pray about starting or becoming part of a group of likeminded people committed to serving Christ in the marketplace.