What’s the most challenging aspect of living out your faith at work? Some of us work at home or with other Christians, so being salt and light, and talking about our faith, come naturally. But many of us work in places where talking about Jesus and faith are discouraged. And some workplaces are downright hostile to Christians, so speaking openly could mean the end of our employment.
For all of us, shining the bright light of Jesus in a very dark place can feel scary––even dangerous.
The average worker faces situations and decisions every day that test the boundaries of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). Fear is real. We’re afraid of talking about Jesus to people who disparage Him. We worry we’ll be misunderstood or make others feel awkward. We don’t want to become alienated, looked down upon, or reprimanded. We don’t know where to start a conversation about our faith.
It’s no fun living like a double agent with different personas at work v. at home. So how do we overcome fear of living out our faith at work? Do we have to talk about Jesus in order to be a witness at work?
Here are three critical truths about faith at work, with encouragement from Acts 1:8, which I hope will empower you to head to work this week with new insight and courage:
- Witnessing is not evangelizing.
- Jesus is already working at your workplace.
- Your workplace is God’s powerful venue for transformation.
Jesus declares, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses… to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Witnessing is not evangelizing.Most of us know about evangelism––and like a trip to the dentist, we’d rather not go. Evangelizing entails proclaiming the good news of salvation in Christ through God’s grace. Conversely, witnessing is about who we are in Christ. It entails sharing what we’ve seen or experienced first-hand. Witnessing includes the way we interact with others and the way we conduct our work. Thus, we go to work each day empowered by Christ’s Spirit. And we begin to live out our faith in Jesus as His witnesses through: authentic relationships we cultivate, prayer and care for others, and our excellent work. All of these then give us the credibility to share how Christ has transformed our life and how He can transform someone else’s.
Jesus is already working at your workplace.Jesus is Lord over all creation, and as such He is Lord of your workplace. He’s already working there. Now He wants you to actively join Him. Once you put your faith in Christ, He lives in you through the Holy Spirit. So you go to work each day not in your own strength trying to do the right thing. Rather, you go to work with the power of the indwelling Spirit whose desire is to join in God’s work there. Find courage in His strength. Ignite the power of prayer in your workplace. Ask Jesus how He wants you to join His work in other people’s lives, and through the work itself.
Your workplace is God’s powerful venue for transformation. God’s redemptive Kingdom work continues “to the ends of the earth” today. This includes transformation of believers, non-believers, organizational values, and culture. This is the work He asks us to join. In addition, Christ uses the workplace as a crucible for refining our character and stretching our faith muscles as we resolve to stand up for what is good and right. There’s purpose in the challenges you face at work. Pause, pray, listen for the Spirit, reflect on His promptings. Then take action accordingly.
When we trust in Jesus as Lord of our workplace, and view our work as an extension of His, purpose and strength replace fear. Be encouraged! You go in the power of the Spirit as His witness to join in the work He’s already doing.