The workplace; a place where we spend most of our week, a place where as Christian men we can influence our co-workers, suppliers and customers with the Gospel. Or is it? Are we really showing God’s love in our attitudes, work ethics and conversations? Do we struggle to live by our Christian values when the boss asks us to lie to a customer or a co-worker upsets us?
Work in Britain is getting tougher with record levels of stress, anxiety and low morale. However research reveals that most Christians in the workplace get little or no support from their church communities.
Over the course of this blog series we will be looking at various aspects of the workplace and how we as Christian men can actively live out our faith at work because importantly, being a Christian means living in the real world and not hiding away.
So what is my experience of living out my faith in the workplace? Before joining CVM full time I worked for the same company for 19 years, starting as an apprentice in the workshops and finishing in the sales department selling multi-million pound cranes and access equipment to the oil and gas industry.
For the first 7 years of my career I wasn’t a Christian and I was a typical Jack the lad at the time. The rave scene was massive and I loved everything about it, the music, drugs and alcohol. I was always up for the night out; the ones you couldn’t remember were apparently the best. I didn’t treat girls as they deserved to be treated, they became conquests rather than people. You get the idea…..
When I gave my life to Jesus and I got to know Him more, I knew I had to change the way I thought, spoke and acted. My conscience became much sharper and I started becoming more aware of how my thoughts, words and actions impacted on others. I would read the Bible and be challenged by passage like Colossians 3.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:5-10
I knew I had to change, I had to be different, and I had to be prepared to share my faith. But, this was much easier said than done and I came across numerous barriers and problems.
For the first few months I had a real difficulty in work colleagues understanding the change and there was always the constant pressure to slip back into my old ways. This often forced me to isolate myself at first and perhaps stay away from nights out etc, however I quickly realised that I wouldn’t be able to influence others or share my faith by doing that.
Over this series of blogs we will examine some of these challenges and hopefully share some practical ways in which we can overcome them.
Image Credit: Alejandro Escamilla