Many believers mistakenly believe that their primary obligation in the workplace is to preach. For some this might be true, but for most it is not. Many misconstrue the Great Commission of Matt 28 and Mark 16 as their mandate. But this mandate was directed at the apostles and the church at large; furthermore, in Mark 16, the mandate was not to be with words alone, but with the power of God.
Most believers are eager to witness for their faith, but feel completely helpless because they don’t know what to say. But the Lord does not require us to be know-it-all Bible-bangers. Rather, our Gospel is primarily of love and power. When we demonstrate love by working for the Lord, we demonstrate the power of God in the human heart. Paul said,
My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (I Cor. 2:5).
Titus 2:9 tells us:
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to t hem, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. (NIV).
We are not required to be sophisticated apologists for the faith like Paul or Apollos. Our Gospel is designed for simple, uneducated slaves. Many people get stuck sharing the faith, because they feel they cannot win a debate. However, our most effective sharing is not articulated theses, but a living testimony.
I used to preach extensively on college campuses, and I learned a critical truth about sharing the Gospel. When I preached it, it became a debate. When I shared my personal testimony, critics fell silent. How can you argue against someone’s personal story? Revelation 12:11 says the saints overcame by the word of their testimony. When people ask us about our faith, we don’t have to offer well-packaged words. We simply need to share part of our personal journey. Finally, we must be completely unashamed in our faith:
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:26 (NASB).
We have nothing to be ashamed of! God has touched our hearts! Sometimes we are ashamed because we know our words will sound foolish. But our personal testimony, shared respectfully, and backed by a life that demonstrates true love, will almost always be well-received.
In some workplaces, the spirit of intimidation can be strong and profound. As I was sharing these principles with people who worked in large, powerful Wall Street firms, I could see wide-eyed fear. “My co-workers will devour me alive!” they seemed to say.
In hostile situations, we should pray and ask God for help. We must realize that this irrational fear is a demonic power. We should ask God to lead us to other believers so we can gather with them to pray.
Second, we must get over our fear of backlash. We need to trust God to provide for His own. The authority of our persecutors is limited. As Esther went before the King to plead for the Jews, she took her life in her hands. She said, “If I die, I die.” In some sense, we must do the same.
Finally, if we are persecuted because we are working as for the Lord, then our reward is great! Jesus said,‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. ‘Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven. Matt. 5:11-12 (NIV)
It’s a high honor to be counted worthy of suffering for righteousness’ sake, alongside Jesus!
Written by Robert Fraser. Excerpted from Marketplace Christianity (New Grid Publishing). Used with permission. All rights reserved. Content distributed by WorkLife.org > used for non-profit teaching purposes only.