Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Making an Impression at Work

I recently read a thought provoking quote by renown pastor, Tim Keller about the importance of integrating faith and work. Here's what he said -
"...when most Christians enter a vocational field, they either - a) seal off their faith from their work and simply work like everyone else around them, or b) simply spout Bible verses at people to get their faith across. We simply do not know how to think out the implications of the Christian view of reality for the shape of everything we do in our professions."

For the record, I don't see very much of (b). With a few exceptions, most Christians in the workplace are too sophisticated, culturally aware and perhaps somewhat fearful, to spout Bible verses ad nauseam. However, the alternative isn't particularly encouraging. In fact, Keller's statement is not only true, it's also a sad commentary on the state of Christian influence in the workplace.

The fact is that for many Christians, the essence of their work life - the motivations for work, the methods and means of work as well as the resulting work - has little in common with the faith they profess. This can be self incriminating in many ways as I examine my own life but as I read Colossians 4:5, I'm also provoked by the daily opportunity in front of me.

"Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. "

Here's what's exciting - we have an opportunity to walk in wisdom toward those outside of the faith - folks that we encounter everyday in our daily interactions at work. We have an opportunity to both demonstrate and declare the wisdom of the gospel in numerous, small, seemingly insignificant and sometimes mundane moments that make up our days. We can make gospel impressions by the way we treat others, by the quality of our work and by the motivations of our hearts.

Think of your day as a series of gospel impressions over an extended period - weeks, months and even years. Then ask yourself this - what impression have you left with your co-workers?


Red Letter Believers said...


I like Keller, but he's out of touch here. In all my years of working with people, including supervising nearly 1,000 people, I have rarely seen scripture spouting. I've seen only a couple of "praise the lord" ers...The real problem isn't too much Jesus at work. It's not enough.

Every Square Inch said...

RLB - I agree w your point . Sometimes I wish there was more scripture spouting at work - being too explicit about what God says is not an issue for most of us

Ted M. Gossard said...

I like your thoughts here, ESI. (I like Tim Keller, as well). The gospel is indeed meant to penetrate and change all of life. This will inevitably make us different than the world, and at times will put us in difficult places. But people need to see the difference the good news in Jesus makes, for sure.