July 25, 2006

Witnessing Through Our Work

1 Thessalonians 4:1-2; 11-12

Work ... so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders ... 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12


Saint Francis of Assisi once said, "Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary use words." This is the other side of the witness coin. Our very lives are a living sermon about God's work in us.

In his book Life in Full Stride, Charles Ringma writes about Christians in the workplace. Some show by their words and actions that they are no different from anyone else. Others are rigid moral guardians, preferring to tell everyone else how they should live. A few develop winsome, exemplary lifestyles that earn the respect of their peers. "A few characteristics of this approach," writes Ringma, "are high social engagement, a helping interest in people, a genuine interest in the welfare of the company or business, and personal qualities of realism and joy. Invariably such Christians are not only respected but are also approached for help and advice."

This was the model Paul held up for the Christians in Thessalonica. They should live such exemplary lives that people would sit up and take notice.

Do your work habits make you an excellent employee not only to the boss but also to coworkers? Can others detect by your skills and knowledge that you're marching to the beat of a more excellent drummer?

Make it your ambition this week that your very work will point others to the Christ whom you serve.

Dear God of all creation, help us to live and work as you intended us to. In whatever work you have placed us, give us grace to work winsomely for Jesus' sake. Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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