December 22, 2018
READ: Colossians 3:5-17
Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father (v.17).
Our behaviour at work says a lot about our relationship with Jesus. My late father-in-law sometimes fumed: “I’d rather work for non-Christians any day.” He believed his unbelieving bosses had treated him better than employers who’d claimed to be believers in Jesus. I know of others who’ve been bullied by co-workers who professed to be Christians. The offending co-workers could quote the Bible backwards and forwards and believed they held God’s views, yet they didn’t comprehend that bullying their peers was at odds with the gospel.
Obviously, not all Christian employers or co-workers are bullies or ineffective managers. All of us know plenty who are exemplary bosses and employees. But when any believer is mean-spirited and ineffective, whether or not we’re aware of our behaviour, we harm our collective witness for Jesus. If we’re employed, what if we asked ourselves this question every day at work: How can I bless my co-workers today?
No matter where God has placed us, we can be a blessing to those around us. A very practical way in which we can bless them is by asking God to help us put into practice the words of the apostle Paul. The apostle instructs us to “clothe” ourselves in “tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” and to “make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends [us]” (Colossians 3:12-13).
This is a tall order! But it’s possible through the Holy Spirit. When the work of the Spirit is evident in our lives (see Galatians 5:22-23), we reveal the beauty of the gospel. Putting these things into practice by the Spirit’s leading allows us to display the mind of Christ and live as humble servants to all—shining as stars (Philippians 2:15).
365-day plan: 1 Peter 2:1-25
Read Daniel 6:3-4 and consider how Daniel reflected godly character even in a hostile environment.
How can you be a blessing to those around you? Why do believers’ words and behaviour matter so much?