As believers, we sometimes feel singled out in the workplace. We seem to become the marketplace punching bag for unsaved bosses and coworkers. It’s almost as if we have a target on our backs that says “I live for Jesus; treat me any way you’d like”. And as followers of Christ, we govern ourselves according to the rules of Heaven, so we don’t deal with unfairness the way the world expects us to.
Romans 12:18 states “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (ESV). This means we must always exhibit self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23) despite how others choose to behave. In fact, we should consider that our unsaved work friends and acquaintances are waiting for us to show them how God’s Spirit keeps us in check.
During Bible study a few weeks ago, my pastor spoke about this very concept. He relayed the story of Barabbas and Jesus before Jesus’s crucifixion, pointing out that the Jews cried for the release of the robber Barabbas (Luke 23:18). But God, in all his infinite wisdom, was prepared for this outcome. As the Jews cried out “give us Barabbas!”, they were actually crying out “give us the son of the father!” Who is the Son of the Father? Jesus. The Jews, in their willingness to kill an innocent man, still demanded to be shown Jesus.
Those that persecute us are really shouting the same things with their actions — for the children of God to show the love of Jesus in how we respond to them. The coworker that spreads nasty rumors around the office. The supervisor that leverages their position of authority to prevent our career advancement. The cubicle mate with the bad attitude. They are all asking for us to display the peace of God. And we can show them that peace of God by remembering to:
Exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit
The fruits of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23 are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In our mandate to make disciples of all men (Matthew 28:19), if we call ourselves Christ followers, we should always exhibit these traits in our effort to bring those that may not believe into the kingdom of God.
Be an Image Bearer
The Bible says that we can be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 19:2). When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we were given the opportunity to adopt his attributes. Whenever the enemy sees us, he sees the blood of Jesus washing over us and taking away our transgressions. In other words: we take on Jesus’s likeness. Reflecting “a mirror” for God’s goodness can also extend to the workplace. Jesus even asked God to forgive the Jews because they didn’t know what they were doing by committing him to death (Luke 23:34).
Pray for Strategy
When we don’t know what to do, we know we can always go to God in prayer. Perhaps we need to have a difficult conversation with our boss about the way a coworker’s behavior has made us feel. We can spend time allowing God to speak to our spirit and give us steps on how to approach the situation with love and care.
Pay Attention to the Signs
Sometimes we may experience things at work because God is trying to get our attention. God loves us and is always using situations, people, and places to speak to us; however, we may choose to ignore him. If we’ve been going through a prolonged period of difficulty at our workplace, it could be that God is trying to alert us to let us know our assignment at the current place is up.
Whenever we find ourselves on the receiving end of unfairness or unwarranted difficulty in the workplace, we have access to heavenly tools to help us in our time of need. We can be grateful that we know God and can show his love and grace to others.
Have You Heard About The Follower of One Community?
Join a community of like-minded believers who believe in being full-time ministers in the marketplace. You can also take part in a virtual Marketplace Mission Trip. Sound exciting? Head over to the Follower of One community!
Learn about Follower of One’s Marketplace Mission Trip here.