As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 NIV) At work we may notice that people tend to group with those who have similar roles, interests or who share the same cultures. This may make work and break times more enjoyable. There are also groups designed to promote business and professional development. These relationships help to increase profit, knowledge and skill sets. Personal development within the workplace seems to occur organically when we work toward professional goals. By challenging ourselves to learn new skills or to meet deadlines we change. We might become better and more confident. As Christians, we grow professionally when we apply our faith to our work. It is an advantage. Finding a Christian colleague may be difficult but it is a worthwhile investment of our time. Once we befriend Christians who understand us professionally, we have someone who can discuss the unique situations which we may face in applying the Bible to our work. They will have a perspective which our coworkers may not. We can cultivate our friendships in ways which suit our work and lifestyle. We may have the ability to fellowship at lunch time, or perhaps just text message and phone calls. Whatever the case, we can make this a priority. Prayer-Lord, I thank you for your word and I thank you for the body of Christ. Father I would like to connect with someone who can help me to grow in my faith and in my work. I [...]
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:6 NIV) When we have made an enemy of someone at work, or we have erred in some way with our superiors, we may become fearful of retaliation or reprimand. People have been given the power to govern our actions at work and we are accountable to them. However, they are accountable to God. Despite the authority they hold in the workplace, the authority of our God is greater than theirs. Furthermore, their power extends only within the confines of work. They have no power over us otherwise. As Christians, every part of our lives, professional, personal and spiritual belong to our Heavenly Father and He is present in each area. There is nothing man can do to us without God having complete knowledge and control. Because of this, we should not be fearful. We can remind ourselves that all power ultimately rests in the hands of the God we serve. Prayer-Omnipotent Father, I thank you for being my protector at work and in all areas of my life. I’m so glad that you are with me at work and I ask you to help me to be strong and not to be afraid. Help me to remember that you have ultimate authority. Amen Eggs
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 NIV) To perform our jobs effectively we utilize our training and the formal knowledge we have gained through higher education. However, in school we do not learn how to develop our mental attitude. Some of our coworkers may even have a negative mental attitude: they may lack confidence or allow personal biases to interfere with their working relationships. Others develop motivation and a positive mental attitude by focusing on material wealth. God has provided us with something superior than money: His son Jesus Christ, who is the word. By accepting Jesus as our savior we have understanding of the Bible, our guideline for daily life. The wisdom of the Bible provides us with insight and practices which shape our mental attitude. We are able to enhance our natural skillset and training by applying wisdom in the workplace. Prayer-Father, I thank you for having mercy on mankind and for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. I praise you for saving me and for giving me your word to live by. Help me to use wisdom in my work today. Amen Positive Mental Attitude
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7 NIV) We have an expectation that the president of our organization and managers of our department will lead us in the best direction to sustain our job. They have the background, education and experience to do so and we can trust them. Likewise, we can develop an expectation and trust that God will consistently help us at work. We develop this trust when we regularly seek and rely upon him. Reflect for a moment on the many times He has helped you both personally and professionally. He has never let you down. God is reliable. He provides insight and direction to us in our work that we would not have access to if we didn't ask him. As the one who is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, God has control over all things, including our work situation. He is ultimately the the Chief Executive Officer who makes promises and sets goals. He is the Chief Operations Officer and President, who executes those goals. He controls the money as the Chief Financial Officer and as a Director, he is in charge of the smallest details. As his children, we have access to all of that. Our faith is an advantage in the workplace. Rejoice that we can apply it to every situation in our lives. Prayer-Lord I thank you for being [...]
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. (Psalm 128:1-2 NIV) In most paid occupations there is an outlined job description, chain of command and payroll cycle. As an employee, we understand what is required of us and who our employer is. There is an expectation that we will receive a paycheck from our employer for the work we have performed. Occasionally we may receive additional compensation such as a bonus or a raise for consistent or excellent work performance. Our employer recognizes our hard work and rewards us accordingly. Scripture teaches us the laws and directions which God wants us to follow in our lives. The Holy Spirit resides in every Christian and guides us according to those expectations. During the workday we should examine our conduct to ensure that we are in alignment with the will of God. Here are some questions we can ask ourselves: What does the Holy Spirit say to me while I’m at work? How does he guide me? Am I being honest in my dealings with others? If Jesus were the customer, a worker or your employer, would he be pleased with me? If we can answer yes to these questions, then we should be experiencing peace and satisfaction in our job. The hard spiritual work we have done is generating rewards for us.
The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. (Psalm 28:8 NIV) All successful people draw upon something for motivation. They may be focused on getting promoted, their retirement goals or money. Whatever the source of motivation, it is what drives the individual and gives them strength to press hard at work. The problem is there is no protection or eternal stability in anything mankind produces. As people we can work hard for prestige and money, but we know that when we pass from this life, we will leave both behind. It seems pointless to work so hard for a reward which can only be enjoyed temporarily. In contrast, when we draw strength from the Father he is glorified and we are humbled. Once we have confessed our sins and submitted our lives to God we are grafted into his kingdom forever. From the point of confession we have grace and favor. This becomes our motivation and it is not rigid and finite like the rewards of mankind. For every situation at work, whether we are striving for excellence or struggling with a challenge, we receive what we need through prayer and the word of God. Our conduct glorifies Him and our blessings are eternal.
Can you recall the excitement you felt when you were hired to work in your current job? Do you remember the enthusiasm and drive you had? If you’re like most people, those feelings have faded. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Revelation 2:4 (NIV) In this verse, Jesus is talking to the church of Ephesus about their enthusiasm and goes on to warn them to return to the dedication and focus which they previously exhibited. He knew this church to be faithful laborers for the Lord (Rev 2:2). They had demonstrated service, suffering and they stood for the truth but still needed to be reminded to return to their former attitude of love for Christ. We should examine ourselves regularly to be certain our lives are Christ centered. At work, we should periodically assess whether we are as motivated to contribute and perform as when we were first awarded the position. I’m not suggesting that we should have the same degree of excitement and dedication for our work as we do for Jesus. The point is that we may lose focus and drive over time in every area. If our motivation for Christ is subject to change despite the enormous sacrifice he made for us, it’s likely to change in other areas of our lives as well. Here are some questions to ask yourself. They may help you to focus on what you love about your job: What drew your interest [...]
Are you one of those people who is fairly consistent with professional goal setting? Are you starting the new year with a sense of confidence because you achieved your goals in the past and feel that you have figured things out? Congratulations! This is a good place to be. But...are you also feeling a bit awkward about this? Are you unsure about your next step? If you are someone who is accustomed to being challenged and being busy, having a season like this can be uncomfortable. Without the structure of goals, you are not sure how to spend your spare time. Without a pressing need, you are not sure what to seek God for. You feel no conviction, but you feel idle. Has it occurred to you that quiet time is exactly what you need? A sustained period of peace allows us the freedom to seek God for new direction and in different ways than we may be accustomed. It allows us to be available to others for their edification and for our own. The Apostle Paul wrote four of the New Testament epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon) while imprisoned in Rome. These letters were written to members of the early church. Paul’s teaching and encouragement helps us to understand key doctrines, theology and the deity of Christ (Col 1:15-17, 2:9, Phil 2:5-6); Salvation by faith (Eph 2:8); Christian conduct, service and hope (Eph 4-6). It was during this time when Paul had limited freedom and obligations that [...]
It is a regular practice within organizations to establish goals and objectives for the business, each department and the associates each year. This helps everyone to be clear and to understand their contribution to the overall success of the organization. As individuals we should have goals and objectives to reach milestones which benefit us personally. This may include returning to college, getting promoted, starting a family, purchasing a home or retiring. We must seek the Father for direction on all of our goals. The holiday season is the time of year when I usually look ahead to the upcoming year and I plan my goals. By this time my manager has presented me with the company’s plan and expectations for the new year and I have the previous 11 months’ productivity and accomplishments to reflect upon. All of the data, expectations, goals, desires and details are then placed into my mental prayer basket and I set it before the Lord. I also place in that basket my shortcomings for the year. I allow the basket to sit there for a while as I begin the process of seeking God. Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. First I acknowledge His presence in my professional life. I reflect on his role in my successes and challenges throughout the year. I thank him for the blessings as well as the errors and correction I received. During this process of prayer, I repent, confess [...]
One of my favorite movies is Blast from the Past. In this film, a young man who was raised in a fallout shelter with 1950s values, is sent out into 21st Century California culture. His parents have taught him ballroom dancing, French, and perfect etiquette among other things. When his new friends ask him why he behaves the way he does, he states, “Manners are our way of showing respect to other people.” In the workplace, professionalism is our way of showing respect to other people. It is a currency which can be traded across departments, cultures and conflicts. We build equity in our relationships with professionalism. If an occasion should arise in which we need or desire something from a colleague, our reputation as a professional will provide the grounds for which they come to our aid. As a Christian, professionalism creates a foundation which will allow us to build our testimony. Our unsaved coworkers are likely to be more accepting of our personal viewpoint if they find us to be credible and fair in our interactions with them and others. We obtain favor with those in authority because we are supportive and perhaps easy to work with. Individuals who have established a reputation as being unprofessional may create a variety of obstacles for themselves. Using inappropriate language, being sloppy, rude or inconsiderate leaves others with the wrong impression. Others may resist working with those whom they consider unprofessional and may be leery of their integrity, [...]