When I search stock photo sites for images of friends, I seldom see them working together. When you think about your closest friends, are they people with whom you work? I think for many of us, they are not.
In the book, First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, they first identified lack of engagement as a major problem in the corporate world. People who are not engaged at work are less happy, energized, motivated and less productive. They created 12 questions that help us gauge our employee engagement.
Having a Best Friend at Work
One of those questions is, “Do you have a ‘best’ friend at work?” They even went on to say that having a “best” friend is key. Many of us have friends, but engaged employees have a “best friend” at work; someone they’re excited to be around.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”Jesus, John 15:13
As Christ-followers, whose best friend are we? How will anyone see the friendship of Jesus if they don’t see it in us? Do you look forward to time with someone other than friends from work? Do you think God would have you race home every day to be with your Christian friends?
Jesus laid down his life for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). He invited 12 men to be his friends here on earth. Jesus would challenge the twelve to help others meet him. And he went on to say his friends were people who do what Jesus commanded. The same is true for us. We can be Jesus’ friend if we do what he commands.
His Great Commandment is that we would love God and love people (Luke 10:27). And that word, “love” is a verb. This means we actively give our best to the people we love. We actively do what’s in their best interest. We actively empathize with them. Ultimately, we try to appreciate and understand their situation and work with them for their best.
Empathy: The Way We Should Live
I heard a talk last week where Jon Acuff said, “as Christians, we should own empathy.” The world should define empathy by the way Christians live. But more often than not, we’re thought of as aloof or withdrawn. We’re seen as pulling away from our world, or thinking of ourselves as better than everyone else. Could people get this opinion of us because we spend our choice “life” someplace else? We don’t “live” with our non-Christian coworkers, as they do their life or work through their difficulties.
They aren’t asking that we live like non-believers. But if we only love those who are like we are, we don’t reflect Jesus to our world. Can we invest in others without doing what they do? Can we spend more of our lives investing in the lives of the people we work with? Furthermore, can we know them better so we can find ways to show love that simply can’t be explained by anything other than a relationship with someone like Jesus?
Today, invest a little more of your best energy in the lives of the people you know at work. Ask God to show you who at work needs to be your best friend. And then go be a best friend to them. Pray for them and do what’s best for them as long as it takes. They’ll never become your best friend first. So, invite the Holy Spirit who lives in you to give you the power to be their best friend first.
Notes:  Work as Worship Retreat simulcast by Right Now Media @ Work.