by Carol Duberowski
The workday includes the temptation to cross the line from what’s holy to what’s comfortable. The deep desire for acceptance can lead to compromised values and ethics.
How can I live out holiness with all the day-to-day pressures thrown at me in the workplace? One answer is to stay on course with God’s purpose and plan for me. When I am overwhelmed and feel a surge of emotion flooding my body, I may have to escape and spend some time alone in the bathroom crying out to God to fill me with the fruits of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).
Every day offers a challenge to live for Christ. Often the Holy Spirit’s greatest work is teaching me to persist, to keep doing what is right even when it no longer seems interesting or exciting.
It’s not just about doing right when something is obviously wrong. We need to focus on doing right when our duties become routine. This has been an ongoing lesson for me as I enter the 10th year with my current employer. It’s easy to become complacent, and, therefore, become careless in making decisions that are not exciting and new. I have made some mistakes as a result of being comfortable — not demonstrating holiness and having to regain ground as a result.
God is in the marketplace 24/7 restoring, saving, redeeming and anointing me to rediscover His call on my life. The anointing for ministry was never meant just for church meetings. John 2:27 tells us the anointing we received from God abides in us. Wherever I go, His Spirit is powerfully available for me to demonstrate the gospel. My ministry platform may not be a pulpit or a small group but rather my business or vocation.
God is calling men and women of influence and power in the workplace to serve strategically for His purposes. We can’t serve strategically without grasping a holy lifestyle — whether at home or work. We carry our lifestyle no matter where we are.
I started asking myself the following questions: What happens if I view my drive to work as an opportunity to pray for the day — for the decisions I will make, for my attitude and for those with whom I work? What happens if I pray “God, make my life and work stand out in ways that will lead people to ask questions”? What would happen if I actually viewed my workplace as a calling — an opportunity to reflect Christ not just through words but through my actions?
Living out holiness is not just about evangelizing. It’s not about cramming Christian jargon down the throats of those with whom I come into contact. It’s about relationships. It’s about living like Jesus lived.
Relationships come with risk of rejection and hurt, but without risk, I cannot become the change agent God has called me to be. I know every day I have an opportunity to become part of someone’s story. My story intersects with others each day.
One of my daily prayers is: “Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear what You need me to see and hear today.” I need to pay attention to the intersections in my life. As my life has intersected with God, my life intersects with others to influence them. My story will become part of their story. How I interact with others and the wake I leave behind can make an eternal difference.
Salt and Light
According to Matthew 5:13–14, “You are the salt of the earth. … You are the light of the world.” Both salt and light are agents of influence — not of power or control. This is a great reminder when I try to exercise servant leadership. It is not about control but enhancement — adding value to a situation or circumstance.
No matter how my story began, it is my responsibility for the ending, and the same applies for people with whom I intersect on a daily basis. God wants people to discover His story, and He can use me to help do exactly that. I am a partner with God (a co-laborer building His kingdom together). “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (Ephesians 2:10 MSG).
We all have influence in our workplace whether we are the CEO or a forklift driver. Our own example is the best way to introduce the good news.
At my place of employment, a warehouse worker sits in his car to read his Bible every day at lunchtime. He has had numerous opportunities to share because he first built a good reputation and demonstrated his values, people began to ask questions. He has handed out Bibles, and he now leads a Bible study for some of the warehouse workers.
Bringing people into God’s kingdom is His work. My responsibility is to be an available tool, allowing Him to use me and my story to change the ending of other stories.
So what does holiness look like? It’s seeking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and guide you where He wants you to go. It’s keeping your standards high, acting wisely and doing good whenever you can while having the fruits of the Spirit evident in your life. Whether at work, home or out with friends, we should be “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:16–17).
We are called to emulate His holiness in how we conduct our lives in the workplace. Let’s follow Peter’s advice: “Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient
children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, ‘I am holy; you be holy’” (I Peter 1:14–16 MSG).