Witness While You Work
Whether you work in an office, a diner, a boutique or a barn, there's one job you share with every other Christian in the work force: serving God in all you do. The way you show your faith at work will depend on your situation, but here's how some readers are getting the Word out while getting the job done:
1. Actions speak louder. Lots of Christians find that their lifestyle—especially the things they avoid—is their clearest witness at work. It can be something as small as steering clear of gossip and bad language. Or it can be something big, like not taking advantage of their employers. When 16-year-old Jennifer Brehm of Decatur, Illinois, received a too-big paycheck from her job at an eye doctor's office, she returned the money. "I know people are constantly watching me, so I really try to be honest and work my hardest for the Lord," she says.
2. The subtle approach. Sometimes it doesn't take much to make an impact. Jennifer Peterson, 17, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, wears Christian T-shirts when she goes to pick up her schedule at the Sonic restaurant. Christy Marble, 16, of Attica, Michigan, tunes in a Christian radio station while she's working at the Dawg Haus Coney Island restaurant.
3. Bolder steps. Once they've started some good relationships, Christians can be even more up-front with their faith. John Weatherford, 16, of Forest, Mississippi, started a Bible study with his coworkers at Vowells Market Place. Jillian Walker, a 17-year-old Burger King employee from Piney Flats, Tennessee, asks her coworkers to support her for missions trips—and almost 100 percent of them do. She says, "God has used me in a year and a half to completely turn the building around spiritually!"
4. A positive attitude. If someone's always cheerful at work or never bad-mouths the boss, people are going to notice. Sarah Halbert, a 16-year-old daycare worker from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, says that others appreciate her upbeat attitude. "I'm a very patient person when it comes to problems at work. If there's ever a problem and my coworkers are too impatient to handle it, they come to me."
An added benefit of being positive is that the boss will notice, too. Seventeen-year-old Molly Blaski of Bartlett, Illinois, who works as a secretary, is sure her supervisor has picked up on her good attitude. "My boss told my mom that she's never met a teenager like me before," Molly says. "I was really glad she could see that I'm different because I'm a Christian."
5. Kindness counts. As in all areas of life, the most powerful witness in the workplace is love. Ryan Rockey, 17, of Andover, Massachusetts, opens up his heart to the people he works with at a hardware store. "I try to be someone who is caring and who my coworkers can come to when they need some encouragement or help," he says. Virginia Dicken, 17, teaches love when she's babysitting kids in and around her hometown of Edwardsville, Indiana. "I try hard to keep the kids focused on loving one another and displaying the fruit of the Spirit instead of arguing." Priscilla Stites, 17, of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, shows compassion for the elderly residents she meets as a nursing assistant. She comforts them, cares for them, and stays with them when fear creeps in. She says, "I pray with those who are willing to pray or who know they are on their deathbed."
What about you? Take a few minutes to think about your job situation. How can you make sure everyone you work with knows where you stand as a Christian? What can you do to strengthen your witness? Who can you reach out to with a smile, a kind word, or an invitation to church? And most importantly, how can you share God's love in everything you do?
As the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:7-8, Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does. So when the job gets grimy, your coworkers are griping, and the boss just won't get off your back, remember this: You might not see the payoff yet, but when you're working for God, the benefits are terrific.
Written by Elesha Hodge