Blog for working Christians. We will be sharing articles concerning Marketplace Christians and resources concerning them. Also I will include articles on Christians in the workplace, Bible living.
Marketplace Christian are people who believe in living his /her faith openly in the marketplace.
On this Father's day there will many sermons and thoughts in our Churches and Radio programs on the virtues on fatherhood and praise for worthy fathers. But for years I've wondered about those who sit and listen and were not blessed with such a father as mine. So here is a little quote for those.
"Love and honour given to a good Father is your gift to him, love and honour to a bad father is your gift to God." Wayne Brooks
Also I would like to remember my late father Franklin Brooks. A good father and a good man.
On Mother's day this month there will be many sermons and thoughts in our Churches and on radio programs on the virtues of motherhood and praise for worthy Mothers. But for years I've wondered about those who sit and listen and were not blessed with such a Mother. Although I had a good mother, I know some in that did not and I would like to give you this quote for advice. "Love and honour given to a good Mother is your gift to her, love and honour to a bad Mother is your gift to God." Wayne Brooks
(please, if you think I am referring to you as the bad Mother, speak with the Lord and not me about it
I rescued a book from the library discard pile awhile back. William Law's book titled "A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life". I started reading it and found him a little legalist or as it seemed to me. But I found a great lesson on page 21. On addressing a common problem of the day (1700s) , which was men swearing, he stated that, "Men have not so much as the intention to please God in all their actions." So the reason we so freely sin is because we lack the desire to truly please God. In a broad sense we could overcome our sins and everything that damages our relationship with God buy setting our mind and will to truly please God. This starts with a spirit of thankfulness. When we mediate on what He did for us, it seems that it would be easy to want to please Him. When we are thankful to wives, husbands, fathers and mothers, we want to please them. Even when a child is good and obeys his or her parents, the parents may want to please the child. In close, know the Lord, then you will love Him and want to please Him.
“ Let all that you do be done with love”
1 Corinthians 16:14
Upon reading this verse the first thought that came to my mind was, ‘Love what or whom”. Are we being told to work with love in our hearts for our bosses and co-workers? We are commanded to work with this attitude, but I believe He has a deeper meaning than “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. This is the main teaching of a lot of successful business speakers like Dale Carnegie, J.C. Penny and Mary Kaye. Not to mention the core belief in most major religions. But I believe Paul is telling us to do everything just because we love the Lord. If you could renew your mind to this way of thinking a lot would change in your workplace. If you did your work just for the love of Christ and not just for a paycheck, your workplace would be a peaceful place for you to work. There could be strife and confusion all around you but you would be in peace. Your job performance would not depend on your supervisor “empowering “ you. You could operate with the empowering of the Spirit of God and His joy would be your strength.
So how do we get this mind frame and love? In the book, “The Practice of the Presence of God”, the writer of the second conversation with Brother Lawrence had this to say. “That he (Brother Lawrence) always been governed by love, without selfish views; and that having resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method (of staying in God’s presence). That he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, nor even His gifts”. In this account of Brother Lawrence’s life we find an example of how this is possible and how it can be obtained.
First, there is no way to practice this kind of love in our lives without spending quality time in God’s word and intimate time in prayer. Having settled this. We can start by looking for duties in our workplaces to give thanks to the Lord and set our minds on Him. And setting our will to only perform our labors just for the Love of God.
Years ago as a kid I was walking through the lobby of the local Boys Club and I bent down to pick up a piece of trash to throw away. Unknown to me the director of the club saw me and bragged loudly that I had done a good thing. Well this made my day. Being used to put downs instead of encouragement I then started doing things to get the attention of those in authority. Years later at the restaurant where I worked during High School I found myself carrying two bus-pans at a time. Hoping the manager would take notice. Twenty years later the urge comes to look around to see who’s watching before I pick up the trash off the factory floor. Now when I see a shop rag on the floor and I have to make a decision to pick it up or pass on by like everyone else. I just look straight down and tell the Lord that “I’m picking this up for you and because I love you. Doing it for anyone else would be a waste of my time.
Another example is cleaning the employee restroom when I enter, because that is what I feel Jesus would do just for the love of God the Father. Now I try to leave a public restroom cleaner when I leave than it was when I went in. (My wife is reading this now and wondering when am I going to start “Practicing the Presence” at home)
Doing our work just for the love of Christ takes a lot of practice. We have to stay focused on Him and stay in communion with Him. Now you may ask, “ How can this be done at work with all the distractions and will it not interfere with work and production?” Work issues will always come up and you need to take care of them. That is what we’re talking about. Letting the Lord guide us in doing our jobs right. Anyone who truly keeps the Lord in focus and lets him guide will be the greatest asset to his or her company.
You can choose to focus on Christ when your not dealing with work issues or you can waste your time with unfruitful conversations with your co-workers and keeping your mind on things that do not matter. Which only disturbs the peace of your workplace.
When you have to attend to work issues, do them promptly, completely and quickly. Then bring your mind back to Christ. Like Brother Lawrence, we must see that it isn’t a sin to have our minds took off of God for business reasons but it is sin not to return to Him and put our minds to worldly things.
I find it useful to view symbols in our lives as ways to remember to turn my focus back. Like the shamrock of Ireland and the fleur-de-lis (Iris, pictured at the top) of France, they are symbols of the Holy Trinity with their three-leaf design. At the factory were I work every time I see the Iris design on a “Hampton Inn” sign, I am reminded of the Lord we serve.
A good study of Bible numerology will give you an abundant supply of symbols to use. Items in groups of two could remind you of “salvation” telling the story of the animals entering the Ark two-by-two and Jesus sending out the disciples to preach the gospel two-by-two. As the number three can be for the Holy Trinity. The list could go on and on.
Also I have found that if you work with computers it helps to make up passwords that will remind you to focus.
· AVODAH, which means to worship and/or work. I see it as worship by working unto the Lord.
· INRI, An abbreviation for the Latin words “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, which means, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
· XPICTOC, Old Greek uncials for “Christ”
· IXOYC, The Greek Word for “Fish” in English characters. Which make up the acrostic by seeing each letter as: I (Jesus) X (Christ) O (God) Y (Son) C or E (Savior)
And So On. 1
I meet a lot of Christians in the workplace that sing to their selves in a low voice to keep their minds on Christ. Try this one, Sing the song “This Is The Day” and on the second verse change the words to “This Is My job”. Sing this and see what it does.
We all have our own ways to keep our focus on the Lord at work. If you love your spouse, children and family you should not have to come up with things to remember them by. But somehow we need helps and discipline to achieve this with God. When it is all said and done. If we love the Lord we will make time to think of Him and gauge our work according to the love we have for Him. But doing things for the love of God can be more than just a nice thing to do, but a lifestyle that few dare to dream of.
We must see that the only reason for being in the workplace (or anywhere) is to be a witness of God’s goodness. Entering into work as worship (avodah) by doing it for the love of God is the only way to show up for work.
I end with this challenge. Try doing things for the love of Christ and if you do not become the best worker in your company. I will return your consulting fees.
1 “Symbols – Sign Post of Devotions by Ratha McGee, Published by The Upper Room c.1962
This is a portion of a book titled, "Christ in My Career" by Allen W.
Graves. I will post edited by me to update usage.
"Influence Belongs to God" Christians can use their influence to draw others to Christ or
they can use it to drive them away. One’s example may lead others to seek the
Savior who can transform life. Or it may cause an unbeliever to lose all
confidence in Christians.
Some people who never read the Bible, attend Church, or hear
a sermon can be greatly influenced by the life and testimony of a Christian.
The life of a faithful Christian witness is an open book whose contents are
obvious to all with whom he associates. Such a life is an unanswerable argument
as to the reality of saving and transforming power of Christ.
Every Christian wields an influence of some kind, either
good or bad. He either represents or misrepresents Jesus by the way he lives,
works, talks, and worships. The right use of influence is a responsibility of
every young and old Christian should welcome.
Paul advised, “For none of us liveth to himself… It is good neither
to eat flesh (meat offered to idols), not to drink wine, nor anything whereby
thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak” Romans 14:14, 21
Our Spiritual Heritage And Obligations by J. C. Penny
I HAVE found silence to be a powerful element in prayer. To learn to be alone with God even in the
presence of others is something we Christian laymen should try to do. There are innumerable times during the day when we can turn our thoughts, even for a moment, from business affairs and center them on God's goodness, Christ's love, our fellow man's needs.
I have not omitted by design reference to our obligation as laymen to the church. Rich is our
spiritual heritage, and we all owe more to the church than we can ever repay for preserving Christ's
teachings, holding together believers, providing a place for religious instruction for ourselves and our
children, and giving spiritual leadership in our home communities, our nation and the world. The layman should give himself, his talents, his experience and support to the church. The church in turn should offer an even greater opportunity for spiritual growth to the layman. It should help him see the necessity of bridging the gap between the practical and the spiritual, and then counsel him as he proceeds to take the steps day by day which will result in spiritualizing all of his daily contacts.
Just as it takes the fire to burn the dross from the ore, so
does it take the spirit of sacrifice in our lives to bring out the best within us.
Trials, labor, grief, are but the fires
in our lives which are necessary to purify and bring out our virtues.
In business, sacrifices are demanded of us as well as labor,
trials and economics. All these straighten our judgment, make for
administrative qualities and cultivate resourcefulness
Is there any sacrifice worth-while? Yes, because of the
compensation, not compensation of dollars and cents, or in name and glory, for
the compensation to self.
Sacrifice establishes character. It makes for purity of
motives, honor, dependability, power for service and unselfishness. It takes
the fire of sacrifice to clarify a man’s mind and heart so that he can
establish the worthier ideals for himself. A man who desires anything must be
willing to go the whole way for it, not halfway. No man gains anything in the
way of power and privileges who does not pay with a change in habits, thought
“Lines of a Layman” by J.C. Penny, c.1956, Channel Press,
Great Neck, NY, page 118
In the book, “The Church Under the Cross” in 1956 on page xi,
J.B. Phillips wrote,“I have never been a missionary myself, though that was
long my heart’s desire, but I grasp with both hands the opportunity of paying
tribute to this magnificent, unadvertised army. I know many missionaries
personally, and at summer schools and elsewhere I have met many more. I believe
there is no body of people who deserve our respect, our admiration and our
support. It should not be a spiritual chore but a high privilege to support
these front-line warriors with our prayers. I confess that I am often outraged
by the world’s treatment of such committed, dedicated lives. Nothing is more
easy than for a novelist or playwright to jeer at the “simple” missionary, or
to build his own success upon the theme of a lonely missionary who “goes wrong.”
I grow very weary of disparaging remarks about missionaries made by men who are
not fit to black their boots. Now I would challenge all those who sit comfortably
at home and disparage the work of the missionaries and jeer at “native
Christians”. What have they ever done to win a single person from darkness to
Since I've started my new job I've attempted to really seek the Lord on how to be a witness and the approach I should use. This is how it's been going.
My first days and week was mostly spent with my mouth shut and ears open. Learning the job and learning the people I work with.
Mostly keep my witness to making general remarks during causal conversation about church or something the Pastor said that weekend. This really lets you know if someone is open to hearing more or they couldn't care less. Already any real believers will ask where you attend and step into fellowship. Must be careful if you work with temp labour. You do not know from one day to the next if the person will be there for you to witness to. You must hear God on this and step up to witness if the Lord moves you.
Bring a Bible to work to read during break or lunch. But don't keep your head in it long and lose touch of what is going on around you.
Wear Christian apparel that is appropriate.
Show real concern for others at work. The guy no one likes, befriend him.