September 5, 2017
6 Scriptures to Challenge You at Work
February 4, 2020 | Jessica Benko
Before beginning the 167 series, I had never considered the amount of actual time that God gives us in a single week. I knew the 24/7 breakdown. But for me, time seems to have more of an ambiguous feeling, i.e.:
… I have too little time to accomplish chores and projects;
… Time with family and friends goes by too fast;
… When something challenging happens, seconds turn into hours;
… I plan to spend time in my Bible later, but then later turns into tomorrow;
… It’s time for work again!? I was just there!
Looking at the total number of hours in a week (168), and considering how I spend my time outside of church (the other 167 hours), has been an eye-opening exercise. Especially because I spend about 40/167 hours at work, and another two hours commuting. That’s nearly 25% of my time each week!
Now knowing just how much time I spend at work, the next question for me becomes: am I honoring, following, glorifying, listening to and/or obeying God while I’m there?
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthinthians 10:31, NIV)
Based on what this passage and others tell us, I had better be! But in practice, what does that actually look like? I don’t work for a church, or an entity with a religious affiliation. While there are faith-based things that happen in my organization, those things are not specific to any one religious belief.
I work as a fundraiser for a locally-owned non-profit. And most days, I really look forward to serving in the role God’s given me the privilege of having! Like many, our organization has policies in place that help guide behavior each day. I’d even venture to say that most of the policies are probably God-honoring: treat others with respect, act with compassion and empathy, work hard, do not lie, cheat or steal, etc.
To me, those concepts are important. But also, a given in how we as Christians should act. After all, there are a multitude of verses that tell us to be kind and love others:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34, NIV)
This idea aside, what are other ways that I intentionally acknowledge the presence of God and honor Him throughout my workday? Though sometimes I fail, I work hard to:
...not use the Lord’s name in vain: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7, NIV)
...not gossip, swear or disparage others: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)
...work hard! And to use my time/resources wisely: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…” (Colossians 3:23, NIV)
...pray as needs or praises arise; whether a silent 30 seconds in my office, taking a few minutes during my commute or in a text with family and family. I’ve even set reminders on my calendar and/or scheduled 5 minutes of downtime: “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” (James 5:13)
...share stories of my faith, God’s work or the Gospel: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15)
No matter your job title or how many hours you spend in “work mode” each week, there will be both challenges and opportunities around listening to and honoring God. The verses above are just a few examples of what guides my behaviors and thought processes each day.
What inspires you to be more intentional and God-focused?