The fear of the Lord at work.
Happy Saturday everyone!
This week as prayer requests came into a chat group I’m a member of, a few of them were concerning work situations.
We spend 8 hours of a day at work, relating and interacting with co-workers and clients. With that much time spent on a daily basis, stuff is bound to happen! Can I tell you! There will be confrontations, disagreements and unfortunately there will be those who revert to hypercritical, manipulative and deceptive means to “better” their position. This leads to distrust and tense working environments.
As Christians we are called to be different but not passive! Our faith must mean something and be what we act upon. Situations at work give the believer an opportunity to demonstrate that they work for the Lord and fear Him. The result is that they receive the wisdom of God to guide them, a wisdom that is far more superior than the world’s wisdom!
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding/insight/good judgement.
What does this mean and how does it influence the way we act at work?
1. It means working with excellence not just of skill but of character..demonstrating that a higher wisdom, not the wisdom of this world guides our lives.
James 3: 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
2. It means taking serious ownership of what God has entrusted us with. Work heartily, being diligent in the service of others as a faithful steward. The principle of sowing and reaping not only applies to tithing and church, but work! When we work like this, God will give increase and reward us. Promotion comes from Him!
1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
This mindset gives such a powerful approach to work! I was having a conversation with my Pastor’s daughter, a university student. She was saying that so many young people are unsure and searching for their purpose but if they occupied themselves, using what they have in service to others..they will find their purpose. I thought this truly profound and had to share!
3. It also means, minding your own business. You’re there to work, not gossip and take sides. If you’re in a position of authority you will have to at times step in to solve work issues but if not, stay out of it and don’t be drawn into work conflicts unnecessarily! You will win the respect of others for your impartiality and taking the higher road. 1 Thess 4:11-12 (NLT) 11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 12 Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.
4. It means that although we have goals we’d like to achieve, we do not seek to “climb the ladder” by any means necessary, using people for our gain. This is worldly wisdom and the Holy Spirit won’t have it!
James 3: 14-18 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
5. It means controlling our tongues when we are cursed and badly spoken of. We firmly stand our ground without responding in the same way or stirring up confusion and bad-talking others among our workmates. When we have opportunity we use our tongues to make peace not war!
James 3:2 For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
6. It means that we understand that we represent God’s Kingdom. Our God has all dominion and His Kingdom is above all the kingdoms of this world. Don’t fear what people do or say, fear God and keep His commandments.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
7. Most importantly, it means that we are to bring work and our co-workers/clients before the King, our God in prayer daily. We must listen to His voice and instruction. Simply put! 1 Thess 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Daniel faced treacherous plotting and an attempt to destroy Him by His colleagues at work (other senior officials within the government). However moving in the fear of God, he trusted God to deliver Him and maintained his posture of consistent prayer.The result? The mouth of lions was shut and Daniel was delivered.
While we don’t face real animal lions, we often deal with human lions. Trust God to deliver to the utmost!! You see, Daniel wasn’t just delivered but the King recognized that the God he served and His Kingdom was superior and more powerful than all other Kingdoms! Powerful testimony and ultimately what God wants!
So, what are some challenges you’ve faced or are currently facing at work? How have you seen the fear of God and His wisdom on display in the situation? Leave us a message and let us know!
Have a wonderful weekend!
By Carol Jackson