By GUEST WRITER
This is a great question and one I personally have sought to navigate in a God-honoring way in my own workplace, just as you are. Certainly, there is much to be said about this topic! From my own perspective and experience in a secular work environment, I’d be happy to share some thoughts with you.
The key truth that the Lord has brought me to realize in my own life is this: There is a “springhead” — a heavenly source from which every practical aspect of being a light in our workplace flows. And that springhead is love and humility.
In a world that preaches self-promotion, self-improvement, and self-seeking (self, self, self) humility and genuine love are often foreign concepts, let alone a reality to observe in a person’s life. But when these two things are cultivated in us, as we submit ourselves to Jesus’ Lordship, we will bear a faithful testimony of Christ with our lives to those around us. And we’ll also be able to give a pure witness to the Gospel with our words.
If we look at 1 Corinthians 13, we can see the trademark of love is humility. This isn’t surprising if we look at the way Jesus came. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (Jn. 3:16). Jesus, in obedience to the Father and out of love for the Father made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. (See Philippians 2:5–8.)
The Gospel came through love and humility. This is how God has always worked — with love and in humility. If we live out the practical description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 throughout our workday, we will be bearing witness to the truth of Christ before the eyes of those around us.
My brother once shared about a fellow believer he used to work with. This man loved God and wanted to serve Jesus. He’d often talk to his co-workers about the Gospel. But no one wanted to hear it from him. Sadly, it wasn’t because they were convicted by the message, but because this man hadn’t learned to walk in humble submission to God’s Spirit, nor how to fully walk in God’s love toward those around him. He was frequently rude in his interactions with his colleagues and often hurt others with his overpowering personality. When confronted with how he treated people, he’d retort, “That’s just how I am.” There was no humility to admit his wrong-doing and ask for forgiveness, and there was little love or care for those he interacted with. Most people put up with him, but weren’t open to hearing his message about Jesus. Why should they be? This man’s life was giving an inaccurate witness of the Gospel.
In Philippians chapter two, Paul writes to the church exhorting them to let the mind of Christ be in them. The mind of Christ, which Paul describes, is a mind of humility. A mind of taking the lowest place, being obedient, and considering others over one’s own self. The mind of Christ is a mind of love.
In recent years, the Lord has deepened my understanding of how love and humility are a vehicle for proclaiming the Gospel. A little over a year ago, He graciously revealed how my attitude towards my coworkers was not humble, but proud and self-righteous — even in my desire for them to be saved! My heart towards them was not one of love, but of repulsion and not wanting to deal with their selfishness. Subconsciously, I’d been looking down on one person in particular, even though I was praying for that person to know the Lord. When God opened my eyes to this abominable pride, I was both shocked and broken — it was a total blind spot until that point.
When Jesus came into the world, one of the things He did was leave for us an example of how to humbly love, serve, and draw people to Himself … and He desired to do the same through me. As I realized His desire and love for this person, even in their undesirable state, I was reminded of the way He had loved and desired me when I was far from Him. Through His example, I was convicted that I was to embody His attitude of love towards this person. Thank God for His goodness which leads us to repentance!
Walking in Christ’s love and spirit of humility will look different in varying situations and circumstances. Sometimes it may mean apologizing to a co-worker when you respond to them or a situation in a way that is not in keeping with God’s nature. (That in itself could be an amazing testimony of the Gospel as they see Jesus working in your life through your repentance.) Other times, it may mean stepping outside of what is comfortable to speak to someone and share truth when there’s a window of opportunity. And at yet other times it will mean being willing to do your work without notice and praise, yet with all your might as unto the Lord. Walking in the love and humility of Christ takes on many practical forms, but as we seek to walk in surrender to Christ and the power of His Spirit, He will be faithful to lead us moment by moment.
My encouragement to you is to begin seeking God to fill you with His heart of love for those in your workplace. Ask Him to give you His desire for the place where you work. And as you step into your workplace each day, simply be a Christian, walking humbly with your Heavenly Father, just as Jesus did.