Working your Faith on the J.O.B.
I like my job. Call me crazy, but I do. I will confess to not jumping up and down every morning to come to work, but having been in broadcasting for twenty-some years, I'm glad God has taught me how to overwhelm my frustrations with my faith.
by Bill Martin
One recent survey found that the most common reason folks leave the church is because they find it irrelevant to faith and real life. Going to church does not connect with their work, family, or their personal spiritual walk. Does any of this sound familiar?
So the question becomes, does the Bible provide any clues about work and faith? The answer is a big fat yes!
Six times in Genesis 1, God sees that physical creation and work is good. In fact he sees that it is very good. The work that we do, whether paid or voluntary has tremendous value.
Four times in five verses, Colossians 3:22-4:1(grab your Bible and read this), Paul describes how we should relate to our jobs in terms relating to Christ. So this passage scripture gives you an important "snap-shot" of what it looks like to undergo transformation at the workplace.
Jesus says "seek first God's kingdom and God will help provide life's necessities". "God works together for good all things for those called to him." God is the original worker and continues to work. So as painful as this might be, here are some great tips for that transformation;
#1: Cultivate a proper attitude toward your boss
Col. 3:22 "Slaves, obey your human masters in everything; don't work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord."
Responding properly to your boss is an important part of integrating your job with your relationship with your Christ walk. Why does Paul need to emphasize this? Because nothing comes more easily to fallen people than disrespect for authority. God isn't looking for 'brown-nosers'. He is seeking to effect a change in our heart toward those who are over us at work.
This doesn't mean that we have to respect their lifestyles, and blindly obey, but it does mean that we are to communicate respect for their position in the workplace, to be inclined to go along with their instructions, and be committed to achieving their legitimate work goals.
"But you don't know my boss!" Where have I heard that before? (1 Pet. 2:18) "Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh." Believe it, it is possible for a Christian (who is clear about who he really works for and depends on God's power) to express this attitude even toward unreasonable bosses. And this is often the beginning of how you are treated.
#2: Be Committed to Excellence in Your Work
Col. 3:23 "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men."
All work, when it is done to serve and represent Christ, is important. We should be developing reputations for being conscientious and thorough in our work. It means that our ethical conduct should be high. Lying, theft, sexual harassment, etc. may be commonplace in the secular workplace, but they are obviously incompatible with serving and representing Christ.
#3: Be Committed to Excellence in Your Treatment of People
Col. 4:1 "Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven."
If we are serving and representing Christ, we need to work at projecting his attitude toward people. Jesus never "ran over people" to get the job done. This should motivate us to view people at work in the same light and treat them in the same way.
Don't get me wrong, I always look forward to Friday, but following these Bible principals has also helped me to cry out, "thank God it's Monday".
Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.