The Christian in the Workplace

A dear brother in Christ recently received a very affirmative written evaluation from his supervisor, commending him for his consistently positive attitude at work.

Likely, this supervisor has observed others who gripe, gossip, and create friction among coworkers. In contrast, this brother’s attitude really stands out.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15).

How else can Christians let their light shine in the workplace?

Be honest.

Employers are looking for people they can trust completely—who never lie, pilfer, or cut corners. Paul says that this kind of work ethic of “showing all good faith . . . will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect” (Titus 2:9-10).

Work hard and work well.

The Christian who gives 100% on the job not only earns the respect of his superiors, but also serves as a pacesetter for fellow employees.

“Whatever you do,” Paul exhorted Christian slaves, “do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Do more than required.

This is the principle of going the second mile, as taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:41).

When my mother-in-law got caught up with her work as a secretary, she’d ask her boss, “Is there anything else I can do?”

A job is so much more than a paycheck.

It’s a golden opportunity to make a positive impression on those who are curious or even skeptical about what being a Christian is all about.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Can We Get Along without the Church?

I heard it again last week: “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.”

Either this is true or false. Which?

Since what we know about being a Christian comes from the New Testament, isn’t that the best resource for learning whether the church is essential?

Check it out!

Although reading the entire New Testament would certainly answer this question, let’s focus on just one book: Acts.

In Acts we read of the church’s beginning in Jerusalem, its spread to other lands, how it was organized, how believers worshiped together, and how the church’s enemies so strongly opposed it.

Ironically, their efforts to stamp out the church served instead to spread and strengthen it (Acts 8:1-4; 11:19-21).

So what do we learn?

If we read Acts with an open mind and a sincere desire to know what we should do regarding the church, what will we find?

“And all those who believed were together . . . . And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:44, 47).

In Acts we find Paul establishing congregations in Western Asia and Eastern Europe. He made sure they were equipped with capable leaders (14:23; 20:17, 28).

Paul urged the Ephesian elders to “shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Question: If God values the church that much, how valuable should it be to us?


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Amazingly Saved and Radically Changed by the Cross

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Why did Jesus die on the cross? To save our souls? Indeed He did, but that’s not all.

For Him

First, His death means the end of self-centered living and the beginning of Christ-centered living: “. . . He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Second, because we’ve been purchased by His blood, our bodies, which now belong to Him, must be used for God’s glory, not for immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

Like Him

Third, His death sets us an example of humility and obedience. “Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus . . . . He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Fourth, His refusal to retaliate (1 Peter 2:21-23) and His endurance in the face of opposition (Hebrews 12:1-3) should lead us to do the same.

For others

Fifth, His death  prompts us to love others as we have been loved. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us . . .” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Sixth, His death calls us to love sacrificially: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

Seventh, now that we belong to Him, we are to put evil deeds behind us and now engage in good deeds (Titus 2:14).

Eighth, His death means we forgive as we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32).

But that’s not all—and yet these eight passages should be sufficient to show that God means for the death of His Son to open up for us wonderful new vistas of thinking and living.

And what a life it is!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Through the Eyes of Christ

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Before my time

I remember hearing my dad talk about living through the Great Depression. He and my mother had been married only a couple of years when the stock market crashed in 1929.

Like so many others, they didn’t have much, but they were happy. They had each other, and far more importantly, they had their faith. They learned how to deal with an extremely tight financial situation that dragged on for years.

Most of us were born after the Depression and have enjoyed relative plenty all our lives. Have we come to take prosperity for granted? Do we expect it as our right?

Imagine it!

Suppose a family from the 1930s were suddenly transported to our modern supermarkets and car dealerships. Imagine the look on their faces as they try to comprehend the astonishing abundance as well as the incredible variety of products available. And so much of what we routinely use today didn’t even exist back then.

Theoretically at least, we know we could lose it all someday. And what if we did? Could we deal with it, or would we be emotionally devastated?

The contented life

Christians are in the best position to accept the loss of possessions. Christ Himself traveled light when He walked our earth. He taught the importance of trusting in God for one’s daily bread. He also taught it’s better to give than to receive.

He taught His disciples to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth (Matthew 6:19-21). He warned against the spiritually fatal tendency toward greed (Luke 12:13-21).

And so if we learn to live by His teachings and look at life through His eyes, we’ll be able to handle financial reverses with greater grace than if we were earthbound materialists (Philippians 4:10-20; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; Hebrews 10:34).

The Christian outlook is, by far, the healthiest way to live!

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Just Imagine!

How things have changed

It has been suggested that television and air conditioning have contributed to isolating us from our neighbors. The old custom of sitting on the front porch on a warm summer evening and interacting with the neighborhood is long gone. Whether or not TV and A/C are to blame, it must be admitted: People don’t “neighbor” much anymore.

Our Constitution guarantees the rights and freedoms of the individual. Properly exercised, this is good. But is it possible that as a nation we have stressed rights to the neglect of responsibility, and individuality to the detriment of community?

Making a positive difference

Many of our fellow citizens do have a strong sense of community and work hard for the betterment of others. The quality of life in our communities is definitely higher because of their dedicated efforts.

So much needs to be done. Whether in improving race relations, cleaning up blighted areas, attracting new businesses, volunteering in worthy causes, or whatever the need, let’s get involved in doing something for our city.

Having the greatest impact for good

But what is the absolute best thing we can do for our community? Isn’t it for each of us as individuals to live in harmony with the will of God—and to help others do the same by sharing the gospel with them?

Just imagine if everyone in our town truly lived by the teachings of Christ: Would there be any rape, robbery, or assault—at least by our own citizenry? Would we lie to one another or gossip about each other?

Would we have the substance abuse problems we do now? Would husbands and wives cheat on each other? Would children be abused or neglected?

Positively, devotion to Christ means obeying the law of the land (Romans 13:1-7). It means seeking opportunities to serve (Titus 3:1, 8, 14). It means giving instead of always receiving (Acts 20:35). It means shining the light of Christ in a dark, dark world (Philippians 2:15).

Christians who really live by the Book make the best citizens!

How we respond

Sad to say, many will not choose to live for Christ (Matthew 7:13-14), but what’s to stop any of us from resolving that regardless of what others may do, we will give our complete allegiance to the One who died that we might live?

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Looking for a Return on His Investment


What He invests in us

If you invest in the stock market or bonds or any interest-bearing account, you want to see a return on your investment, don’t you?

So does God (Matthew 25:14-30). Think of all the ways God invests in the lives of His people:

  1. He made us in His image (Genesis 1:27).
  2. He pours out daily blessings on us (Acts 14:17).
  3. He invests the blood of His Son for our salvation (Revelation 5:9).
  4. He gives us His Holy Spirit, who lives within us and intercedes for us (Acts 2:38; Romans 8:26-27).
  5. He grants us all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3ff.).

So what’s our response to all this?

First, we thank Him daily for all these good things which are evidences of His great love!

Second, we shed our old sinful mindset and lifestyle, and seek instead to develop the attitudes and behavior appropriate for one who belongs to Christ.

“Flee immorality . . . . Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body”

(1 Corinthians 6:18-20; see 2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

Third, we develop the abilities He has given us. “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

Then someday we can hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful slave . . . enter into the joy of your Master” (Matthew 25-21).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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A Remembered Lesson

It was over 50 years ago, but it stands out in my memory. Norman Harnage was teaching our class that Sunday morning in our congregation where I grew up.

Norman said he wanted to talk with us about one thing. And he did.

He cited several passages where the expression “one thing” is found. The following were, I believe, among those he cited:

What’s most needed

Jesus was a dinner guest in Martha’s home. In her preparations she became frustrated with her sister Mary, who was listening to Jesus teach. “Lord,” she complained, “do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, “you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).

What’s lacking

On another occasion a young man approached Jesus and asked what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus cited several of the Mosaic commandments. “All these things I have kept from my youth,” he replied.

One thing you still lack;” Jesus told him, “sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:18-23).

But the young man turned sadly away. Jesus knew he was putting his money ahead of his relationship with God.

What’s most important

Paul wrote, “. . . one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Paul knew what was most important in life, and he was totally focused on the goal. He let nothing distract him from obtaining the prize.

“. . . one thing is necessary . . . .” “One thing you still lack.” “. . . one thing I do . . . .”

Thank you, Norman Harnage, for bringing that simple but profound lesson so long ago.

You were right.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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