Work is more than the place where we eke out a living. It’s the place where we spend most of our day. The place where we can most interact with others.
That’s right. It’s in the office (not just in church) where we can carry out God’s two greatest commandments. Jesus says we must love God and love our neighbor. And I’m sure Scripture agrees that our colleagues are certainly our neighbors!
There is no being neutral at work. We’re either lifting people up, encouraging them, and meeting their needs. Or we’re just being passive and dragging them down. I say there’s no neutral because that’s what Jesus Himself says. “You are either with me or against me. If you’re not gathering, you’re scattering”
The devil loves entropy. If we keep to ourselves and ignore others, evil wins. If we prattle about anything and just do our thing for the day, we’re probably adding to the problem. For when you stop swimming up stream, you just flow down stream along with all the hay, stubble and dross. Being on mission means doing more than the bare minimum. It’s being intentional with our time, and actively leveraging our sphere of influence and our resources.
Indifference is not a virtue. Nor are we called to simply tolerate others. That may work well for the HR department. But it doesn’t work well for Jesus. Too many people are empty and hurting. Being tolerant of them sets the bar way too low!
Indifference and passivity are what allowed the craziness at many of the companies I’ve worked at. Good people hung low, kept silent and did the bare minimum to get by. And other people suffered for it.
People at work need to see the active love of Jesus in all we say and do. Being a spectator won’t cut it. We aren’t called to leave others alone and tolerate them. We are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This means being active, outward and relational.
Your Mission At Work: Love God, Love People
Chances are that unless you work at a church, you won’t be allowed to preach the sermon on the mount. But don’t let that stop you. Bringing people to Jesus is above your pay grade. No one can come to Him unless the Father Himself draws them. (John 6:44).
But Jesus also says the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. So what does this mean then? How do we practice the two greatest commandments when Jesus is off limits?
The answer is Jesus is not off limits. Just because we meet them at work doesn’t mean we can’t be with them in other parts of their lives. In other places. At other events. Where we can talk about other things. Such as how our God has transformed our lives.
Jesus says they will know us by our love for one another. So when we shine they will want to know why we’re so different. At that point, our Jesus may open up amazing opportunities to share with them what He’s done in your life.
Here’s how at work we can use the supernatural power of Jesus to love God and love people. It’s not about faking it. It’s about real love and real power.
- Honor the Lord by doing a good job. Both in competence and integrity. And as far as it depends on us, strive to get along with others.
The latter is not always possible. But we should never be the weak link here. This means we regularly must ask Jesus to help us get beyond our own fears. We need Him to help us put aside the mental tapes of what we think is happening, so we can see our colleagues as the Lord sees them. It also means avoiding foolish arguments that divide.
When in an argument, ask yourself, “Is this the hill I want to die on?” If it’s not, stop arguing. Are you loving God and loving people? Or are you loving your own ego? Remember, you’re a soldier on a mission. Stay on target!
Does someone not like you? We tend to think cruel people are healthy and all together: We tell ourselves they just choose to be mean to us. But that’s a lie from the enemy. He wants us to be passive. He wants us to stay small and hurt so we’re always the victim. Never the warrior.
Hurt People Hurt People.
Imagine your powerful boss who demeans you. As he enters the room you expect to see him standing proud and tall. But instead you see he’s hunched in a wheelchair with a spear through his head. As he rolls in, you can tell he’s always in pain; never at rest. Never at peace. He’s crippled in body and mind.
Are you still angry with him? Do you want to kick his wheelchair? Perhaps not so much. But in real life both the wheelchair and the spear are invisible. Only God sees his full pain. Only God sees his horrific struggles. (the child who hates him, his two failed marriages, his quest for love and acceptance from a dad, long dead). This is why we are told to pray for our enemies. And to forgive them. We simply don’t know enough to make good judgments.
Don’t let the devil make this all about you. This is not a war of flesh and blood. It’s a war against spiritual evil. So only spiritual warfare will do! Now is the time to put on your spiritual armor and fight! Every workday, ask Jesus how to pray for him! Then do it first thing every morning!
Other Ways To Stay On Mission
2. Humbly go to Jesus each day and ask Him for His love, His creativity, His wisdom and His favor with reaching out to your colleagues, bosses, subordinates, vendors, customers and contractors.
3. Actively listen to the conversations around you.
What do your coworkers talk about most? What do they do for fun? Is someone hurting? Is someone celebrating? Does someone have a need large or small, even if they’re not hurting?
The people around us need to know we’re there for them. They need to know there’s something different. Something loving, creative and good that glorifies the one who saved us.
Does anyone need help with yard work? Did you overhear that the admin’s twin boys are about to have their 5th birthday? Is the manager’s husband bedridden from back injuries? Well, what would happen if you dropped by the admin’s desk with two light up bouncy balls and two birthday cards for the twins? Or if your colleague who respects you, finds you at their door with a gas powered lawn mover?
Do the unexpected. Don’t dilute it by saying it’s from the office. They need to see the Jesus in YOU. This is not about doing good deeds. The harvest is ripe. The workers are few. If Jesus draws them in, you are setting the stage to talk about Him. And if Jesus is not drawing them, LOVE THEM ANYWAY. Your job is to pray and then go forward in FAITH.
Look for other ways to engage your colleagues outside of work. Invite them to a movie, a walk, a sporting event, church, or even for drinks. Keep asking Jesus for favor and an opportunity to know and love them better. And as you get to know their heart, don’t be afraid to tell them about this lavish God of yours. Jesus will show you how.
That’s it. He’s God. You’re not. You take tiny steps of faith and He does the rest. AMEN.
- Does God Send Good People To Hell? Are Christians Just Mean Spirited?
- Cheap On Things But Lavish On People (Taking A Delight In Giving)
- Why Does God Say He’s Great And To Be Worshiped? Is God A Braggart Or Just Insecure? Where’s His Humility?
Songs That Show God’s Passion
Stars Go Dim-Heaven On Earth
This one fills me with joy and a desire to go forward in boldness and love.
What You Want (Tenth Avenue North)
A reminder that our God wants us as followers not leaders. And yet with Him in the lead, we find ourselves going forward with power and truth.