“Work is not about you but about God working through you.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 10, 2023
Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil [or, the evil one]. Luke 11:4
Work is where many of us spend much of our time, and we are wise to have pre-decided how we will relate to those whom we respect and admire as colleagues. Professional courtesies like honesty, clear communication, and diligence are necessary for a productive work culture. But a healthy work environment also requires behavioral boundaries: wisdom to say words that affirm with no undertones of flirtation. Healthy words like, “I’m grateful for your team spirit to share the credit of the project’s completion with the entire team.” And avoid emotionally entangling words like, “You are like my work spouse; I’d rather stay at work with you than be with my family.” Words matter, and what seems innocent playfulness to you may feel like an invitation to inappropriate behavior to another. Work temptations require pre-meditated, wise, professional responses. A workplace prayer, “Lord, show me the wise thing to do and give me the courage and accountability to follow through!” Workplace wisdom is found in the creator of work, God.
Charles Spurgeon brings into reality Jesus’ prayer with word pictures of evil like a lurking lion ready to pounce on unsuspecting, naïve prey, “What we are taught to seek or shun in prayer, we should equally pursue or avoid in action. Very earnestly, therefore, should we avoid temptation, seeking to walk so guardedly in the path of obedience that we may never tempt the devil to tempt us. We are not to enter the thicket in search of the lion. Dearly might we pay for such presumption. This lion may cross our path or leap upon us from the thicket, but we have nothing to do with hunting him. He that meeteth with him, even though he winneth the day, will find it a stern struggle. Let the Christian pray that he may be spared the encounter. Our Saviour, who had the experience of what temptation meant, thus earnestly admonished his disciples—Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” Simple yet profound: what we pray is what we should do!
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV).
A more subtle temptation is for work to become who we are…our sole purpose, self-worth, and security. When who we are is wrapped up in work…what happens when our work changes, even ceases? This past fall, I sat with ten new friends in the “locker room,” waiting our turn for proton radiation treatment for cancer. Faces sober, some grim…wondering if this treatment would work…very few discussed work…no one identified themselves by job titles, career successes, or net worth. But there were many quiet discussions around faith, children, grandchildren, and a hopeful prognosis. I was reminded that work is not to be served but to be a servant of God’s purposes.
(Note: My prognosis is positive; all indicators point to cancer free from early-stage prostate cancer treatment…still monitoring).
When you work for an audience of One…you have one purpose…as Jesus said, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4). Work of love, work of service, work of evangelism, work of discipleship, work of prayer, work of becoming the best version of God’s beloved…your identity in Christ! All of life’s circumstances can change suddenly or gradually, but either way, when you identify as a Jesus follower…you are the same…saved and secure…since Jesus Christ is the same…He changes not. Secure in Him; you can be secure in all circumstances. Work is not about you but about God working through you.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Heavenly Father, show me the wise thing to do at work and give me the courage and accountability to follow through…through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
For clarity and accountability, consider a workplace covenant of behavior for your team. Click here to see an example and download it as our gift to you.
Psalms 90:17; Proverbs 14:23; John 6:27; Ephesians 4:28; Colossians 3:23
Tauren Wells: God’s Not Done With You
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