Difficulty of Office Evangelism
The office. An environment that is challenging in the very best of circumstances. As chaotic and rowdy as a kindergarten class (but without the graham crackers and the much needed naptime) and with the social hierarchy of the playground and some of its cruelty too.
Evangelism When You’ve “Blown It”
Many of us work in quite difficult situations: highly competitive environments with hostile colleagues or angry bosses, or with pressing deadlines, or for a struggling company. And we find ourselves as Christians in a world that may be, at best indifferent, or at worst, hostile to us. And so we try and be that perfect example of a Christian because aren’t we supposed to be above reproach? Yes we are and it might just be that the best thing that can possibly happen in our office places is for us to “blow it.”
And let’s face it, it’s probably already happened. And once we embrace the fact that our colleagues know that we’re sinful and messed up creatures, the good work can begin.
I remember a time when I had a great moment of frustration in front of my colleagues to the point of throwing a stack of papers across the room. There were a few stunned faces and a few grins. In that moment, I was embarrassed, angry . . . and real.
Acknowledging Who We Are
We are princes and princesses in the kingdom of God but were once in the gutter ashamed to even look up. The value of our new elevated position can only be truly seen by others when we readily acknowledge our former lowly station. But it’s a struggle and some days we act like the Pharisee and not the tax collector.
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee (Jewish teacher) and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!’” (Luke 18:9-13).
Because we are sinners and often rely upon ourselves and our works for our identity, we become the Pharisee. When we realize who we really were and the lack of anything good in and of ourselves we rightly transform into the tax collector.
You’re Not Perfect & They Know It
There is bondage in perfection and Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It’s not our job to be perfect and have our colleagues look to us for guidance. It’s God’s job to sanctify us and our job to praise His name as it’s happening. And then extol the greatness of Jesus and His perfection. Praising His name is when we should be bold and the rest of the time we should be beating our breast and saying: “God be merciful to me a sinner!”
We can never really “blow it” in the workplace if all we are trying to portray is a broken creature whom God took pity on and lifted up. Once we achieve the correct posture then our standing before our colleagues will be real and lasting and meaningful. And God will be glorified. And that’s what really matters.