There is a 99% chance that you are reading this because you are a Christian and you want to know how your life should play out at your place of work. This is a big issue for many of us.
Perhaps these questions are going through your mind, as much as other Christians. Do I always have to smile at everyone? Do I have to go the extra mile to be helpful? Do I have to be morally sound? Truthful at all times? Show myself as a person of integrity? These are all great things to do but there is more to being a Christian employee than all these. An individual with good values who is not a Christian can do all these.
We first must understand who a Christian is. You are a Christian because your life has been changed and transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, that is, you are a disciple. The bible teaches a good lesson in the book of Matt. 7: 15 – 20.
Here, Jesus was telling his disciples how to recognise fake prophets. He said they should not be deceived by the appearance of the prophets because what they actually represent is not by their outward appearance or comportment, but by what is deep seated in their heart. Since out of the heart comes the issues of life, Jesus told His disciples that they would know a true prophet from a fake one by the fruit they bear.
The heart of a Christian is dominated (or supposed to) by Christ like virtues, so the fruits that should be produced too will be Christ like fruits. You will recall that when John was in the prison and heard about the works of Jesus Christ, he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the one to come or they should expect another. John asked those questions because the deeds of Christ (fruit) he heard about showed that they were that of the Messiah but because he expected the Messiah to deliver him from the prison and nothing of such was being done, he became confused with the identity of Jesus. Don’t forget that it was the same John that first hesitated to baptise Jesus because he recognised Him. So John actually knew Jesus was the one to come by His fruit. In verse two of Matthew eleven, it was recorded that John heard in prison about the works of Christ – His fruit.
Jesus Christ, following in the principle of ‘by their fruit you shall know them’ did not answer the question of John disciples directly with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ He only told them “Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see” (Mat. 11:4). Did you notice the use of the word ‘again’? It signified that there was a prior notification – what John had heard in Matthew 11:2. By asking John’s disciples to go and tell him again what he had heard before about Jesus Christ, Jesus was saying tell him about my fruits and he will know the answer to his question.
Dear friend, the difference your being a Christian can make at your place of work is by your fruits and these are fruits that can be produced ONLY by a life that has been transformed by Christ. Unfortunately, most of us Christians are not producing the fruits replica of a life that has been transformed by Jesus Christ. In my own estimation, I think there are three major reasons responsible for this;
1. We fail to come to terms with the fact that we work for a new master – Jesus Christ. Our judgements at work are therefore motivated by our disposition to our employers or their representatives rather than to our real Master.
2. We fail to realise that we have a singular assignment which finds expression through many avenue in which our employment is one. That singular assignment, which is the summary of all the law, is to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mat 22: 37-39).
3. Our failure to come to terms with the fact that there is no greater reward in the whole earth than what Jesus gives to those who work for Him. Yes we believe that we can get money, power, fame, comfort etc. from our work, yes we are very correct, but none of those rewards last forever. If we can accept this truth, it will change the way we approach our work because we would realise that our greatest reward is secured in Christ Jesus.
We need to get our minds renewed in line with these submissions if we are going to produce any fruit that is Christ like at our places of work.
God bless you as you stand for Him