Demonstration and not Entitlement

Good morning and Happy Friday!  I was at the YMCA starting my morning workout as I ran laps around the gymnasium track.  About a half-mile into it, I noticed that the Nike symbol had fallen off my shorts since the last time I exercised. (Probably melted in the dryer.)  Not long after that, I realized that the stripes running down both sides of my shorts looked as if they had moved back just a bit.  (Probably shrunk in the dryer.)  That's when it dawned on me that neither was true and that I was just an early morning shorts were on backward! Great...

We get a lot of things backward in life don't we? It seems that we, as evangelical Christians (I consider myself to be one), have something of utmost importance backward.  We have long prided ourselves on winning the lost via the water hydrant approach...turn it on full blast whether we know them or not and let it spew.  Problem is that we have often knocked down our fellow employees with this tactic. Though well-meaning, we often rush in where angels fear to tread and in haste create more damage than good.  You may know co-workers or employees who are justifiably leery of all Christians today as a result of such an approach.  There is, of course, a time to rush in and lay it on thick even when you don't know the individual, but the workplace is not normally such a place.

Rather, your workplace is a breeding ground for cultivating relationships over time whereby you earn the right to talk to someone about where they will spend eternity.  You gain respect from them because you have shown them respect at work.  Your are trusted because you have proven- on the job- that you are trustworthy.  You are loved and appreciated because you have shown the same for other employees.  Your advice and counsel on spiritual matters is sought out because you have proven thousands of times historically that you really care about that co-worker's other life-needs.  At some point, you may be led to open your mouth, as the Holy Spirit wills, and share via words what your life has already demonstrated for months or years at work.  St. Francis of Assisi spoke volumes when he said, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."   For some reason many of us have adopted a posture of entitlement that has falsely led us to believe that  "I am saved therefore I have a 'Gospel' right to tell everyone else that they should be, too."  Not true.  You have been commissioned to work and live in such a way as to make clear the difference Christ is making in your daily life.  The problem is that we tend to tell them first when in fact they need for us to show them with our lives.  Perhaps words come later.  At times they are unnecessary, even intrusive.

Today's Workplace Challenge:  Examine your actions, posture, spirit, work standards, goals, and ways you relate to others on the job.  If words did not exist, would it still be evident that you have been redeemed and transformed by the Savior of the world?  Is there sufficient evidence to convince your office mates that you are in Christ and He is in you? Adopt a strategy that truly esteems your co-workers and starts where they are.  Let's be more interested in them as people than just "checking off" our evangelism scorecards.  The results might surprise us.  Identify who it is specifically that you are trying to reach in your workplace and take steps necessary to show and over time...that your God is real and He really loves them!  Have a great workday and a wonderful weekend!  "As you are going, make disciples of all..."  (Matt. 28:18a)