My coworkers bring me great joy; we’re like family. In large part, it’s the reason I’ve chosen to keep working where I do, even though my organization has experienced numerous transitions. But I know this isn’t typical; a job often is a difficult place to find strong relationships. For some, work is simply a way to put food on the table.
Christ’s transformational work in us calls us to a new way of thinking, including in our jobs (Romans 12:1-2). Our culture often sees work as primarily a means of serving ourselves, whether through feeling self-actualized by reaching goals or by gaining influence. In the midst of a regular workday, we can often see only tasks and deadlines. We easily forget that as believers in Jesus we should be viewing life from a “people” perspective. When we have a different mindset than the world’s definition of success, we can influence our environment for Jesus.
The pressure to prove we’re not only capable but the most skilled is a tangible tension in the workplace. Because our work ethic is a witness of Christ’s goodness in us, we should value excellence, but we shouldn’t do so at the expense of seeing ourselves as better than others (Romans 12:3,11,16). Instead, we’re to relate to our co-workers in a way that communicates their inherent value and God-given abilities (Romans 12:4-10). Even our response to difficulty and injustice in our jobs can become a witness to how we define hope and triumph differently than those who work only for themselves (Romans 12:12,14,17-21).
Like us, our co-workers live out complicated stories, full of chapters with hopes, challenges, and disappointments. May we reach out to them in Jesus’ love—bringing the joy that flows from Him.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 20:1-12
Read Colossians 4:5-6 and consider how others might view Jesus based on your actions and conversations at work.
What makes it hard for you to reflect Jesus while on the job? How can focusing on individual people help you deal with the frustrations you face at work?