Four Tips for Sharing Your Faith at Work
Do you want to share Christ in your workplace and/or marketplace? It may seem like a tricky proposition and perhaps a bit scary, but all it takes is a humble, caring heart and a desire to glorify the One you love so much. Here are four tips for sharing your faith at work.
1. Comfort People in Need
Paul opens his second letter to the Corinthians praising God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (1:3-4).
I wonder how many times we miss blessing others and ourselves because we simply find ourselves too busy—deadlines, long to-do lists, or quotas to make. As a non-believer, I remember when a coworker unexpectedly visited my hospital room. He prayed for me that all would go well. What an impact that made! Obviously, I am writing about it today. Years later, as a chief executive of a city, I visited employees who were sick or hospitalized because of the impression it left on me.
2. Carefully Share What God is Teaching You
Paul tells his young apprentice Timothy to share his teachings to other reliable people so that they might teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
As a young Christian, I wanted to learn everything I could about Jesus and what He wanted for my life. My wife and I were involved in everything from individual to group bible study, scripture memory, and quiet time. I shared with anyone who would listen about what God was teaching me. I learned quickly that not everyone (church member or not) was open to my enthusiasm. Rejection is a cruel teacher, particularly when it is family. Jesus words came to me, “be careful how and to whom you share” because not everyone is open, seeking, or friendly toward things of God (Matthew 7:6).
3. Willingly Show People Your Shortcomings and Hardships
The great apostle Paul wanted to be like Jesus in every way, but he admitted, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12). And the honest truth is that we become more like Jesus when we suffer, “because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3-5).
Both non-believers and churchgoers have to see that there is a real difference between how they face life’s problems and sufferings without Christ and how a true believer faces these same issues with Christ. We all know that talk is cheap. People need to see how we apply the scriptures to real life situations.
They want to know that what we believe is actually what we believe. They need to see if what we believe truly makes a difference. They are watching to see if what we believe has direct application to life’s situations. They are skeptically watching to see if what we believe is genuine and not just buzzwords, slogans, or catch phrases.
Over twenty years ago, I lost a very prestigious job and for the following two years, I was unemployed. The loss was very public and humiliating. My family and I did not leave our small community. People in and out of the church saw how we survived the crisis, coped with change and leaned on the Lord for strength, comfort and financial help. They saw how we praised God even in the rough times.
4. Witness to the Gospel by What You Do (and NOT Do)
The writer of Proverbs 6:16-19 reveals seven things that God finds “detestable.”
Some of these are pretty easy to steer away from in our work settings. As much as we might want to, we probably won’t be killing any of our coworkers. But some of these are much easier to succumb to at work. God hates “haughty eyes” (a look of pride or arrogance), deception (lying), scheming to get ahead of somebody else (devising wicked plans), spreading gossip (a false witness who breathes out lies), or openly stirring up conflict for other Christians (sowing discord among brothers).
Non-believers are gleeful at the prospect of the seeing Christians compromising their beliefs through nonverbal miscues and the contradictions between what we say and what we do! They notice when Christians easily use curse words at work. They scoff at Christians who are lazy in their assignments. They think Christianity is a joke if we are participating in office politics or gossip.
This reminds me of two college girls who were excited about their mission trip overseas. The trip was all they could talk about in and out of the classroom. At the same time, there was a girl in one of the classes which they openly treated with contempt. A teacher called them aside and pointed out the incongruity. At that moment, they realized that the explicit message of their words and the implicit message of their conduct were different. They were sending conflicting messages to other students.
We really do the cause of Christ no good when we go to church on Sunday and compromise our beliefs Monday and throughout the week. As representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be careful what we communicate to those around us.
How to Share Your Faith at Work
Let’s admit it: It can be awkward to share our faith at work. The fear of damaging relationships and making the workplace that much more difficult (we do, after all, have to deal with these people on a daily basis). The fear of repercussions from those we work for. The fear of coming across as, well, just weird. In the stories found in the series, How to Share Your Faith at Work, we find practical ways to naturally share with people the thing that is most precious in our lives – our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Image by Tim Miller. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr.