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7 Practical Ways to Be a Light in Your Workplace

We spend most of our day at work. If we’re going to be good witnesses for Christ, “being a light in our workplace” would be a natural place to start, wouldn’t it?

But sometimes that sounds a lot more feasible on a Sunday after an encouraging sermon, than it does after several days in an exhausting or abrasively unchristian work environment.

So how can we go on displaying good works that would make our coworkers want to turn and glorify God (Matthew 5:16)? While daunting, it’s not impossible. Let’s take a look at seven practical ways we can bring the light of Christ to our workplace!

 

1. Affirm – Tell others that what they do matters

It’s easy to recognize laziness or incompetence in other people that causes more work for us. But how often do we go out of our way to recognize the positive impact of another person’s work?

Did your boss provide you with helpful feedback on a project? Have you noticed any strengths in the trainee you’ve been working with? Do you have a certain coworker you can rely on for clear, organized work?

Let’s learn to pick up on small details that we can recognize and affirm in others in order to encourage and lift them up!

 

2. Admit – Own up when you’ve made a mistake

Especially in our workplace, it can be tempting to cover up our mistakes. But instead of working to advance our own careers, let’s humbly own our mistakes, and work hard to reduce any potential negative impact of them.

By doing this, we have the opportunity to promote Christlike humility (and not ourselves).

 

3. Apologize – Use your shortcomings to point others to Christ

We’ve all had that day when work makes us feel like pulling our hair out. In these moments of feeling overwhelmed by the demands of work or frustration at other’s actions, we’re prone to lose our patience or speak carelessly.

Whether our coworkers thought it significant or not, we can apologize for our short tempers, ask forgiveness where necessary, and most importantly, clarify the kind, gentle and patient character we are called to display.

 

4. Appreciate – Talk about things you are thankful for

Complaining is one of the easiest conversation starters. But we can vocalize our thankfulness instead!

Maybe we have one good friend at work, or an opportunity to get involved in a new project. We can be thankful for the work skills we’re developing that will be useful later in life!

In practice, thankfulness will contribute to a more positive work environment, and it’ll also help us train our minds to count as well as thank God for the blessings we have.

 

5. Assist – Offer your personal time to help a coworker

When five o’clock rolls around, many of us couldn’t be more thrilled to both mentally and physically check out of work.

But it can be really impactful to consider using some of that precious non-work time to serve the people we work with every day. Whether it’s offering to help a coworker move into a new home, or bringing a meal to someone recovering from surgery, let’s show God’s love to our coworkers by serving them with our time whenever we can!

 

6. Accompany – Find creative ways to build relationships

There are plenty of work-friendly and appropriate ways to be more social with our coworkers. Invite them to a sports game, or organize a work-friendly baby shower for a soon-to-be parent! Perhaps a new restaurant nearby could inspire lunch with coworkers.

Making time to socialize with our coworkers creates space to build more than surface deep relationships, which is the best springboard for us to share the gospel with them.

 

7. Advocate – Take prayer for your coworkers seriously

It’s easy to forget that our coworkers have their own personal lives and struggles. We can look around even a small office, and know that plenty are struggling with some combination of infidelity, addiction, family conflict, or depression. It’s often not visible.

So, let’s take prayer for our coworkers seriously. As we pray for God to help them, we can remember that the greatest help they can know is God Himself. In the same spirit that Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him, let’s look at those around us, and pray diligently that they may come to know God (Luke 23:34).

 

If we think about it, our coworkers are some of the people we have the most opportunity to share the gospel with, or display Christ-like character to. So let’s enter our workplaces with a renewed sense of intentionality to share Jesus’ light in all that we do!

ODJ: Write Your Epitaph

August 23, 2016 

READ: 2 Timothy 4:1-8  

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have remained faithful (v.7).

A famous epitaph that doubles as a pun can be found in the Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona (America). It reads, “HERE LIES LESTER MOORE, FOUR SLUGS FROM A 44, NO LES NO MORE.” The Wells, Fargo & Co. station agent died in an Old-West gun battle with another man in the late 1800s.

Some 18 centuries earlier, the apostle Paul wrote his own ‘epitaph’. In an apparent final letter written prior to his martyrdom in Rome, the apostle wrote these words to his protégé Timothy: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Paul’s summation of his life must have been a challenge and encouragement to Timothy, just as it is to us nearly two millennia later.

One day, if you and I were to write our own epitaph, may we find that these three words best described our time on earth: Offering—Paul described his life as a sacrifice poured out “to God” (v.6); faithful—the apostle could rightly declare that he had faithfully fought to proclaim his belief in Jesus wherever he went (v.7); expectation—in anticipation of being with Jesus and receiving a victor’s “crown of righteousness”, Paul’s days were filled with purpose—the passionate words and actions of one who eagerly awaited being with his Saviour forever (v.8).

Are we living purposeful lives for Christ today? Paul wrote, “The prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (v.8). Far better than a well-worded epitaph, our living, loving Lord gives us the hope and strength we need to live for Him today!

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: Mark 10:1-16

MORE
Read 1 Cor. 3:10-15 and think about what the foundation of your life is made of and how it will affect the words of your epitaph. 
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Which believers in Jesus do you know will one day deserve words of honour on their epitaphs? What marks their life and character? How are you growing in your faith and the proclaiming of it? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODJ: Blending In

April 20, 2016 

READ: John 15:16-27 

The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you (v.19).

While on vacation, my daughter and I strolled on the beach in the cool of the evening. Interrupting her mid—sentence, I tapped her arm and pointed. “Look over there!” What appeared to be sand moving back and forth proved—upon closer inspection—to be a tiny crab scuttling across the beach. Its beige color, tiny size, and quick reflexes provided protection against being seen, much less caught. The small creature wanted to survive, not stand out.

Jesus has called us to stand out for Him, something that can lead to fruitfulness, love, and hate. When we read Jesus’ words in John 15:16—18, we may wonder how these three things can be linked. For instance, if we love and we’re fruitful, why should we expect to be hated? (v.19). The opening portion of John 15:16, however, provides the context for our understanding. God has called us to be visible on Earth, for we’re part of His kingdom being established here (Matthew 6:10). In other words, we’re created to proclaim His glory (Psalm 66:2).

Cultures around the world encourage people to blend in and follow designated customs. And the prevailing mindset of the day is the desire for self—preservation and selfpromotion via the approval of others. Believers in Jesus, however, can follow His lead and influence culture instead of looking to it for identity (John 15:19).

We can’t live fully for Jesus if we’re too busy running for cover by trying to simply fit in. Rather than blending in to protect our well—being, let’s follow Him and His principles, loving others and not requiring them to love us in return (John 13:34—35). And if by standing for Christ we stand out, may He be honored and lives changed!

—Regina Franklin

365-day-plan: 1 Kings 19:1-21

MORE
Read Matthew 5:11—18 and think about the various parts of your life (work, home, leisure). Consider the specific decisions you can make to be “salt” and “light” in these places. 
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Have you ever been in a situation where you felt vulnerable because your beliefs differed from those around you? How did you respond? What does it mean to stand for Jesus instead of blending in? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODJ: show your colours

November 23, 2015 

READ: Esther 4:10-17 

If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? (v.14).

When I was asked to present the flag to the daughter of a Navy veteran at her father’s funeral, I readily accepted. As a veteran myself, and the son of a veteran, I knew the poignant power of a flag-draped coffin.

The day of the funeral, I introduced myself to the bugle player. We talked of our military experience and then I mentioned that I had written a devotional article about the song “Taps” (played at American military funerals). “I thought you might be a believer!” he exclaimed.

I felt gratified! But I wondered: how many times have observers of my life not had a clue that Jesus is important to me? So often I choose to blend quietly into the background.

In the book of Esther, it’s possible that the exiles from Judah had so effectively assimilated into their captors’ pagan culture that God is never mentioned throughout the book. Queen Esther herself had kept her Jewish identity a secret.

And yet, the pivot point of the story is Esther’s identification with her people—the remnant of the people of God. Haman’s genocidal plans against the Jews had just been decreed, and Esther was uniquely situated to intervene, but not without great personal risk (Esther 4:11). Her uncle Mordecai told her, “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (v.14). Esther took the bold step to approach the king.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day-plan: Romans 12:1-21

MORE
Read Esther 7:1-7 and see how Esther courageously identified with her people. 
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In what creative ways can you show your colours as a follower of Jesus? Ask Him today how you can do that. 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)