Wearing Your Faith on Your (Work) Sleeve

Anyone who has known me personally since 1998 knows that I am a committed Christian.  They know this because I try to live a Christ-centered life and I am not ashamed to admit my faith. However it took me many years to have the courage to share my faith in the workplace.

It is not unusual for people of strong faith to hide who they are in the workplace.  We tend to avoid discussions of religion, God and social or moral issues.  There is a palpable fear for many of us that if we open up this private area of our lives to our business colleagues or even our clients, there will be unwanted consequences:  Strange looks, stares, whispering, stereotyping, accusations of intolerance, and even discrimination.

Our faith is not incompatible with our workplace.  Christians have historically been peacemakers, advocates for the weak, a refuge and a source of comfort for the lost, the broken, the fearful and the weary.  We offer hope and peace, mercy and grace in a world that is often wicked, evil and cold, and a workplace that is sometimes not much better.  Why not reach out in brotherly and sisterly love, compassion and concern for our fellow workers?

I am not advocating that we corner our cubicle neighbors and give our testimonies, belt out Gospel songs, read our Bibles aloud to them during lunch, or recruit them for the next church missions trip.  I am saying that despite the impression many have that our faith is not welcome in the workplace, it is very clearly needed there just as everywhere else in this broken world today.

God did not call us to be ashamed of our faith, nor to hide it from the world.

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels. Mark 8:38

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

I have made the subtle gesture of placing my Bible (the one I read during lunch at work) on my desk. I have done this now for 7 years.  In that time I have had many people notice the book and say things like, “Are you a Christian?  I am too” and even “I knew you were a Christian!”  With that opening I was able to share my faith without fear and without hesitation.  At their request I have even prayed for, over and with clients throughout the years…the feelings I experienced when I did this was simply amazing!

In fact, since I have stopped hiding my faith at work I have met dozens of very successful and some really powerful men and women in my industry who are strong believers.  Sharing that faith together created a unique bond that increased our mutual respect,  strengthened our business relationship, and opened some interesting doors.

I have attended more conferences, business meetings and work social events then I care to recall where people had no issue sharing their intimate thoughts, dreams and desires…sometimes offensive, sometimes foolish, oftentimes inappropriate. Anyone who has spent time in earshot of the bar at a business conference knows exactly what I am saying. Under the circumstances what then do you have to lose by letting your fellow workers, and even clients know that you have found a relationship with the Lord to be a significant and defining aspect of your whole blessed life?

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

 

 

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