Navigating the somewhat tricky landscape of faith and business can be scary. You may have heard of cases such as Jack Phillips, the Christian baker in Colorado who refused to bake a cake for a homosexual couple, or Joel Dahl, the owner of Dahled Up Construction in Oregon, who was sued for hosting a Bible study during working hours.
These cases are scary. They can make a Christian scared to share their faith or even make the acknowledgment of being a Christian.
But, as a believer, Christians are called to share their faith. We are not called to shirk this responsibility for fear of being persecuted. That’s not what being a Christian is all about.
Yet, more and more Christians are shying away from sharing their faith. It’s because of stories like Jack and Joel’s that have made Christians hide their candles under a bushel (no, we’re not supposed to do this!). Many Christian business owners are willing to lead but unwilling to share their faith. This is sad but understandable… to a point.
You Have A Great Opportunity
Your place of business is a great mission field. You’ve been uniquely gifted and placed there for a reason. The reasons are varied:
- To effectively lead and grow new leaders
- To help the lost and hurting
- To live out your faith in a God-pleasing way
- To mentor and guide your team
- To show love to those around you
This is your opportunity as a Christian leader. You have the opportunity to impact and positively change the lives of those you lead. This can only happen if you’re unashamed of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Every day you will be interacting with those who don’t believe in Jesus. You will rub shoulders with businessmen who may not even know who Jesus is. Or you may hire ex-cons who are getting back on their feet.
These people may be lost and hurting. And in Matthew 28:16–20, you and I were given the Great Commission
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Talking to those you work with can be difficult. It can be a challenge to say “Hey Bob, you look a little down today. Is there something I can pray with you about?” Taking the steps to approach and engage those you lead in a conversation about faith is challenging. It’s also an opportunity you will have more often than your pastor or priest.
Are you taking advantage of the opportunity you’ve been given?
How To Live Out Your Faith In The Workplace
There are many ways to live out your faith in the workplace. Much like asking someone if they’re having a rough day, living out your faith is scary. It will set you apart from those around you. It may even make you look like a Jesus Freak (uh oh!).
However, when you live out your faith in the workplace, you will change lives. Your life will be changed. More importantly, the lives of those you talk to and interact with every day will be impacted.
What does it take to live out your faith in the workplace? Living out your faith looks like:
1. Treating people with respect:
I struggle with the perception many people have of a Christian. I struggle with this because their perception has been proven right over and over again.
Many Christians will treat others poorly. I’m not sure why this is. It may be because they are still hurting and hurt people, hurt people.
This isn’t the way Christians should behave. Especially in the workplace.
You can treat those around you, even those who don’t believe the same as you, with respect and dignity. Their lack of faith or difference of faith doesn’t give you a right to mistreat them.
Think of the Golden Rule when you interact with others. Do you want to be treated like dirt? Or do you want to be treated kindly? Choose to treat others with kindness.
2. Talk about your faith, respectfully:
As a Christian, you shouldn’t shy away from talking about what God has done in your life. He has become your Lord and He is moving on your behalf.
So, why do we struggle to talk about the things God has done in our lives? It’s often because of fear others won’t understand or they may think you’re kooky. It happens.
There are times I struggle to talk about my faith. I find myself holding back when I talk about my life. I’ll leave out parts of it like
- The youth group I’m a leader in
- What happened Sunday morning in church
- The friends from church that I’m running with
Looking at it now, I feel silly for being afraid to share these type of things with my coworkers. When I think of sharing, I will often think about the possible rejection I could face. I know this isn’t right and the Bible tells us that those who deny God before man, Jesus will deny before His father.
This is heavy. This is challenging. We can’t be afraid to share about God with our coworkers.
The good news is, you can share your faith with respect to others. It’s not hard when you’re intentional about sharing your faith. If you’re living a Christian life, the things you talk about will be centered around your faith.
Talk about your normal, everyday activities. Share what God is doing in your life. Let others know He is moving. Just don’t beat them up if they don’t believe the same as you.
3. Be willing to extend grace:
You’ve been given more grace than you deserve. We all have if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He paid the ultimate price for our sin. He extended grace to us.
Are you extending grace to others? When those you lead don’t deserve grace, do you do your best to show them forgiveness?
One of the things we have to do as ambassadors of Jesus is to offer the same grace and forgiveness to those we lead.
To extend grace, you may:
- Choose to take on the responsibility of a failed project rather than blaming the team members
- Excuse an unexcused absence
- Find ways to educate your team in areas they may struggle
As a grace receiver, we have to be grace givers.
Living out your faith in the workplace can be challenging. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You can do this. You can be a shining light of what God has done in and through you.
Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Rather, let your light shine before men.