Do you respect your position in the workplace? How much, if at all?
We want bigger positions and titles (and the perks that come with them) but how have we stewarded what God has entrusted us with thus far?
As someone who works on my time, as it were, I’ve come to value the need to respect my work; to accord it due honour knowing that I’m not even working as unto me but as unto God.
How are you functioning in your current role in the workplace – however big or small it may be?
One of the most fundamental differences between believers and non-believers is that we have the presence of God with us. We have a Holy Spirit who dwells in us. But is this reality reflected in our daily work rhythms?
Going back to the outward evidence of Spiritual fruit in our work lives – kindness, patience, goodness, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, self-control and perseverance should be bountiful in us. We cannot say we are in partnership with/submitted to the Holy Spirit when these things are absent in our work days.
There must be an intentional abiding with the Vine (Christ) in the course of our work day so that we can bear the fruit of who He is in our work environments.
I’ve singled out this particular fruit of the Spirit intentionally. In the midst of all the demands and expectations that come about in work environments, it’s easy to overlook simple things that can have incredible impact in people’s lives.
Being a joy bringer [shout out to the Kenyans who recognize this reference ;)] involves more than telling jokes that crack people up (though it definitely could include that if that’s your forte). When people interact with you – whether formally or informally – do they leave encouraged or down and discouraged? Is there ease and grace in working with you? Are you a person people can trust with who they are?
Sometimes what people need in a moment isn’t a sermon or a Scripture, but a simple every day conversation that feeds their soul with joy.
Are you a vessel God can use to encounter people in the workplace?
It is an expression of wisdom to be a good steward of time (Psalm 90:12). First, your own time, and then, that of others like your colleagues, employer, clients, etc.
If you don’t respect your own time, you cannot expect others to respect it either. You’d be surprised how much it shows in the way you carry yourself in the context of the workplace. What time you show up to work/for meetings/from lunch; how punctual you are in delivering your work commitments when you said you would or communicating a change where a time extension is necessary; the promptness with which you run/contribute to meetings; etc.
This is especially fundamental for people who are on their own clock like freelancers, business owners, etc who don’t necessarily have someone breathing down their neck telling them what to do when. With that freedom, comes the responsibility of discipline. If you don’t do it or find someone who can, it doesn’t get done.
The flipside of time management is that sometimes you need to help others be better stewards of your time. When a person has different time values than you do, an inevitable clash of priorities and expectations is bound to happen. This is where clear communication comes in handy with a good dose of wisdom from the Holy Spirit on what to say, how to say it, when to say it and to whom.
Sometimes God will ask you to forego what you consider “fair” and accomplish the task as expected. Work as unto Him and allow Him to build your character knowing that your reward is with Him not a human being. There are dimensions of favour and blessing that believers walk into as a result of the Father’s reward to them for their service when no one was looking or applauding. So be faithful with your time as God defines what that faithfulness looks like.
What is the quality of work that comes from your desk? Are you one who is quick to provide solutions to challenges or are you the person who always gives excuses why it couldn’t get done? When a task is given to you, can people rest easy or do they need a plan B-Z to cover their bases?
As seen in the lives of Bezalel and Oholiab (Exodus 31), there is a level of skill that doesn’t come from school or experience but from the Spirit of God. It’s one thing to match the standards of the world for your profession; but are you anywhere near God’s standards for the same?
I’m well aware that many work environments aren’t exactly conducive for these things. Understatement of the century, I know. But my rule of thumb has always been – let God find me faithfully doing my best notwithstanding the circumstances.
We cannot be waiting for perfect environments that “allow” us to be Christian when we are the ones called to change these environments with our expression of who God is.
Don’t get stuck on what you don’t think you can do.
What can you do with the help of the Holy Spirit?
Start there and trust Him to guide you as forge forward.