For the past several weeks, our focus has been on the workplace (our jobs) and the application of Biblical, as well as practical, principles on how to glorify God during our typical workday.
My motive is simple: To educate my readers in a manner that will encourage, motivate, and inspire us to apply God’s Word in all aspects of life. Below is an excerpt from the preface of my 2nd book in the Give God the Glory! series that is subtitled, Called to be Light in the Workplace (2003).
I love God because He first loved me. I am eternally grateful for the marvelous things that He has done for my wife and I on our respective jobs over the past nineteen years. Give God the Glory! Called to be Light in the Workplace is the second book in this series about God’s goodness to His children in different stages of our lives. Through these pages, I intend to demonstrate, by the Word of God, that within the three stages of our work life – the beginning (intern or trainee), journeyman (mid-level manager), and mentor (leader and senior executive) – that God calls us to be light in the workplace at every step along the way. I will educate each reader to recognize the dangers that Satan puts in the way of God’s children and how our response to these dangers separates us from those who choose to walk in darkness. Our light must shine and always illuminate on our jobs to give others hope as well as the desire, and courage, to uphold ethical, Godly, and disciplined behavior during the forty to sixty hours that we traditionally work each week. To this end, we are commissioned and called by God, through Jesus Christ, to be distinctively different and to excel at what we do. Our jobs are a resource, but God is our source. As long as we stay connected to Him, we have assurance through His Word concerning the guarantee of peace and tranquility to achieve our dreams – “…but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).” When God calls us to do something, He also equips us to handle the job and the challenges that we will face (Romans 11:29).”
It has been said many times over and over and over again, but bears repeating – We have more in common than we have differences. We all rely upon our intellect, body strength, athleticism, charisma, and work ethic to earn a living. Simply put, we must work for the money that we earn in order to sustain ourselves during our lifetime. In the first chapter of Genesis, verse 26, God’s first commandment to Adam was to dress and keep the Garden of Eden. Translation – Work! The creator designed His creation to work and that is the primary means by which we earn money to pay for the necessities of life – shelter, clothes, food, transportation, health care, and education. Work is a necessity of life, and God’s Word says “if you don’t work, you don’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).”
Our jobs bring interesting and sometimes extremely frustrating challenges into our lives. How we choose to respond to the never-ending challenges at work is the key to what separates those who enjoy promotions and those who do not. Needless to say, the workplace is a very competitive environment. Most of our colleagues, bosses, subordinates, and peers are continually seeking more money, more attractive benefits, and better overall opportunities at work, often within the organization or company where they are currently working. You stand in their way. This competitive spirit, manifested outwardly, is satanic and promotes self-centered and selfish behavior as seen through people at different stages in their life or career. Satan is an accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10), is wicked (Matthew 13:9), is a deceiver (Revelation 20:10), is our adversary (1 Peter 5:8), and is the ruler of this world (Ephesians 6:12). He is real! Subconsciously unaware of their conduct, most people tend to think more of themselves than they do about others without realizing what the effect of their behavior has on people within their sphere of influence.
I officially entered the workforce in the summer of 1984 following a year of disappointing unemployment. Since that time, I have survived a myriad of changes that have taken place within the federal government as well as corporate America. The majority of these changes have been unannounced, frequent, continual, self-serving, unproductive, detrimental to the workforce, and devastating to individuals and families alike. Countless numbers of people have not been able to cope while others are left bitter and have chosen to underachieve. Thus, many have failed to fulfill their God-ordained purpose during their lifetime.
In the Book of Matthew, chapter five, six, and seven, Jesus’ first public sermon during His public ministry focuses on teaching us how to live within the kingdom of God. Jesus clearly demonstrates that there is a distinction between how to earn a living (how we make money to survive) and how to live (persistent application of Godly principles to everyday life). In these passages of scripture, Jesus teaches His disciples, and a multitude that have gathered at a mountain on the edge of the Sea of Galilee, about attitude, and how to be light and salt. History reveals that this mountain is probably one of the hills northwest of Capernaum, for shortly after this ‘Sermon on the Mount’, we find Jesus and His disciples entering that city. These character traits are explained in detail by a masterful teacher who used “parables” as the object lesson(s) for the purpose of extracting a spiritual meaning from the natural examples He used. I have always found it interesting and insightful that Jesus would focus on these three key character traits at the outset of His first message during His three and one-half years of public ministry. This was His trial discourse. What follows are God-centered and ethical principles on to how to live a successful life on earth during our entire lifetime, including in the workplace.
Now, let’s Give God the Glory!…