I have a job.
Why? Well, there’s this thing called Adulthood that apparently costs money. (Hint: college, car, insurance, house, marriage, children, etc.)
The thing is, when I first applied for a job, I thought it was just an earn-money-move-on kind of gig. Turns out I was wrong.
You see, God puts us in places for a very specific purpose.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8
That includes my job. We are salt. We are light.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
The question isn’t really what we are supposed to do, but how we are supposed to do it.
So, I give you eight ways to be salt and light (translation: a witness for Jesus) in your workplace.
I know it’s everywhere. Previous to working in the secular environment, I had no clue what a struggle it would be. When you are constantly around it, those words begin to be the first thing that come to mind. Fight it! Memorize scripture (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 3:8; Exodus 20:7; Matthew 12:34).
Start a team cursing challenge (50 cents for every curse word, use a chart, money goes to the person who cursed the least in a week). The point is to be different. To be transformed not conformed.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
Again, prior to working, I had no idea how tempting this would be. Not only is gossip all around you, but there are always THOSE coworkers that everyone knows are a problem, or THAT manager who never does their job. Don’t do it!
Don’t start it, don’t participate in it, leave if you know you can’t resist it. Over time, the fact that you don’t talk about others will make you trustworthy in the eyes of your coworkers. And that makes it worth it.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29
Be the encourager.
Instead of gossiping and cursing, be the person who looks for ways to encourage your coworkers and superiors. One way that I have began fighting negative thinking/speaking about my coworkers is to search for the positive aspects of who they are.
For example, one of my coworkers is quite lazy and doesn’t follow through on what he says he will do. That really gets on my and my superior’s nerves. BUT, he is a very cheerful and uplifting person who gets along with everyone and is great with customer service. So I focus on that.
Go out of your way to compliment your coworkers on things they do well. Make a point to thank your manager for running a good shift. Encourage consistently and sincerely.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
Listen, remember, ask.
As I began to get to know my coworkers, I started learning things about them. My manager has a 10-year-old daughter and is separated from her husband. That coworker has a 4-year-old niece that she babysits whenever she isn’t working. This coworker just got out the military. That person is trying to get promoted. The night clerk has a daughter on probation and is going through a divorce.
The point is, listen to what your coworkers are saying to you about their lives.
Remember what they shared with you, no matter how big or small. Ask about that piece of their life often. You will be shocked at how your coworkers respond to those three simple things.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Philippians 2:3-4
Pray for your coworkers.
Now that you are listening and remembering important things about your coworkers, pray for those things. In fact, ask your coworkers if you can pray for tough things when they share those things with you. Even pray over them right there at work. Yes, it is sometimes awkward. But it is an opportunity to be light in darkness.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16
Follow through on promises/commitments.
This is about earning respect from your peers and superiors. If you tell your boss that you will do x, y, and z, don’t forget to do y. If your coworker asks you to do something really small, don’t blow it off.
Don’t fail to complete tasks that you started. It’s not rocket science. Do what you say you will do. This simple thing will make you a dependable, trustworthy, and responsible team member.
When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. – Numbers 30:2
Play on your team.
This is some of the best advice my dad has ever given me in regards to my work life. Remember that lazy coworker I told you about? Well, he’s been a continual challenge for me. I don’t believe that I am responsible for covering up his laziness in the least.
BUT, if I see a task that he said he completed that is not complete, what do I do? Do I tell the manager? Do I do it myself? Do I tell him? Answer: I play on my team.
He is my peer, so I go to him first. I mention to him that I noticed this task isn’t done. Only if he gets angry, or if he still doesn’t finish the task, do I go up a level and talk to the manager about it. After all, if the position were reversed, isn’t that what I would want my coworker to do?
Do to others as you would have them do to you. – Luke 6:31
Excel at your job.
It’s pretty simple, but it’s not easy. Do the best that you can, all the time. Don’t be lazy, show up on time, follow through on your commitments, seek to learn, don’t avoid hard tasks, always come back for the next task, pay attention to detail, be efficient, work hard.
Be an example for your coworkers. Earn the respect of your superiors.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lords as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:23-24
Excelling, treating others as you want to be treated, following through on commitments, praying, listening, encouraging, refusing gossip and cursing; they are all meant to point to one thing.
This list I have given you is not the end; it is the means to the end.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
These things we do for the Lord, and the Lord is with us.
Now come, let us go into our workplace and obey the great commission he has given us.
This is SO good, Haley! I can definitely apply these to my job even though my job situation is a bit different. Thank you so much.
Glad you gleaned some truth from it! 🙂
Thanks for this article, Haley! I personally, know how hard it can be hard to be a light in tge darkness at work, but it’s important to show these people Jesus in your life every single day. I don’t show Jesus half as much as I should and it caused me pain because instead of talking about the next Marvel movie coming out I could have talked about Christ being crucified and when that person left suddenly I wouldn’t have felt guilty because I didn’t share the gospel them. This should be my #1 goal at work! Not making sales, not making friends, not soaring above the rest, but letting my light shine before others, so that they may see my good works and give glorify to my Father in Heaven(Matthew 5:16)
I’m so glad you are realizing this, Victoria. I am finding that it is so easy to just stop at this list, and forget that it is a means to an end. Just last night even, I had this grand opportunity that God obviously brought before me to witness to a coworker. I wrestled in my mind on whether or not to be bold and take it. I did, and now she and I are having lunch together next week! That is my opportunity to share Christ with her! But it felt super awkward to ask…and it will probably feel awkward during lunch to be bold and witness. The Lord is with me, and I do not fear awkwardness!
I am so glad God has given you this opportunity to be bold and proclaim His name! It’s an honor! I pray that He will give you courage and strength! Matthew 10:19 “…do not be anxious how you are to speak or what to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Please, pray for me at work( today even) as I work with all these lost souls. Prayer that God will shine through me and speak through me. Together(with the strength of God) we can bring a light to the darkness! Shine bright, Haley!
Wonderful article Haley (: Great reminders and full of practical advice, thanks for sharing!
Thanks Haven! I always make an effort to include practicality, just because I am such a do-er. I want the next step, not something to chew on for a while!
Wow, Haley! This is so good! I can definitely relate to all of these things! I’ve thought about some of this stuff before, but I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to write these things out. Both encouraging and challenging. <3
Thanks so much, Rachel! I’m glad they are not new thoughts. Hopefully they seem doable now that they are listed and organized before you. Go and be a witness for the Lord!
This is a great article, Haley, even though I have a different sort of job.
I’d love to help foster children someday too!
That is so awesome, @disqus_3cFc4XVk3W:disqus! I am crazy, crazy passionate about helping foster families. Actually, I wondered if you would be interested in starting now instead of waiting until you’re older? After all, there are lots of ways we support families even if we can’t foster. I am currently in DHTU, and I hope to have a focused project coming very soon that is oriented towards doing that very thing. Can I message you when I do?
Umm, yes! I would be interested! You could tag me in a comment, or reply to this comment (if you can find it when you finish that project) or, are you on Revive? revivingtheredeemed.org is a Christian teens’ social media that a rebelutionary started. If you are on there (or want to join) you could message me there?
I have been on Revive in the past, but I found that it to be a distraction and decided to leave. (Not because Revive isn’t awesome! I just couldn’t handle the temptation to be distracted. 🙂 Anyway, I will tag you in a comment or reply to this one when I have something ready to go that you can get involved in. It will probably be several weeks, just fyi. The awesome thing about the Reb, is that we can get together and collaborate on big projects!
Ok, sounds good!
Hi Haley, how’s the project coming along? 😉
Haha, thanks for checking back! I actually had a fantastic idea for a project, but I can’t start it right now due to time. It is something that you could easily do though. Email me at [email protected]. I will edit this as soon as I publish it so that you just get the message in your email and it is not published to the world. 😀
Haha, I have zero spare time at the moment too, but I’m hoping next year will be different since I’ll be finished (home)school, so I’d love to hear about it anyway!
Did you get the comment with my email, or did I edit it too soon?
Must have edited it too soon. Try again, and I’ll sit right here waiting!
I might not get permission to share my email with you, but I’ll ask my parents.
Thanks so much for writing this! I’ll definitely keep it in mind for future jobs.
Awesome! Thanks for reading.
Yet another fantastic article, Haley. I love reading your pieces! Thank you for these thoughtful words 🙂
That’s so encouraging, @a_haylie:disqus. Thank you for reading!
Great article, Haley! I’m planning on getting a job soon so this was a good reminder for me!
Same, @nerdylightbulb98:disqus Happy job hunting!
Dear Sarah A. ! Forexample I, I don’t View on the Rebelution ! But I am Listening Of Very Much Time yet Of The Internet ! But, End Its Little Began, Hi, ? More Good Life Are Coming maybe in The Future ! How Be Or will Be Future in You ? Hi, If I Broke You in Full To Your Wrotes To ‘Haylie’ Place ! Sorry ! Dear Sarah A. ! Happy Good Life To You ! & Bye bye ! Hi, Hi, & !Metin
You weren’t interrupting us at all, it’s perfectly fine for you to reply to my comment!
I’m sorry, but I’m not sure that I understand what you’re asking. It seems like you might be asking about my future plans, but I’m not sure. I’m not trying to offend you or anything, but I’d just like to clarify what you’re asking. 🙂
Thank You ! Sarah A. for Your Answer ! If Been Too Clarify. Bye bye !
Thank You ! Sarah A. To Reply. & Bye bye !
Halie, Dear Haylie ! When I Seed More ‘Job Hunting’ Or Like in You ‘Happy job hunting’ Writes in near This Time, I am Being More Happy ! I am can Being More Happy Now in The World ! Bye bye !
Yup, I wish someone had told me these things BEFORE I got my job! 🙂 Good luck finding a job.
Thanks for writing this great post!