Here’s what was included in my daily Bible reading:
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
Is the first sentence above evident in your life?
Yes, I know what it’s like to be in a secular workplace and feel the peer pressure to hide my faith.
I also know, however, what it’s like to sanctify that peer pressure by using that “push point” as an occassion to affirm what’s important for my walk of faith.
Imagine that several co-workers are standing near your desk and exchanging dirty jokes.
Perhaps they’re standing near you by intent… or perhaps not.
The fact remains that their words are offensive to your faith.
How you respond at that moment can show if you acknowledge Christ as Lord in a public manner.
Yelling at the group to shut up and take their gutter talk elsewhere is not a matter of faith but of retributive rudeness.
Ignoring the gutter talk for fear of social backlash is also not a matter of faith but of condoning condemnation-worthy behavior.
So what are the options for being faithful?
There are several, but here’s one.
Perhaps you could calmy tell the group that you’re trying to get your work finished but you need them to take their conversation elsewhere because the language is distracting since it is offensive to your Christian faith.
You’re not telling them they’re going to hell.
You’re not even telling them that they have no right to exchange dirty jokes.
You’re simply asking them to move because their behavior next to your desk is disrupting your work and offending your faith.
They might not like what you’ve said but they will know that your faith is very important to you.
And if you start catching grief in the future from them because you spoke up, then that is grief that God will see as strengthening testimony of your faith.
Of course, there are countless other ways to convey to others that we are Christians. Some use jewelry. Some use desk art. Some use a Bible placed on his or her work desk. All should use language that speaks of blessings and forgiveness and mercy and generosity and prayer and — as appropriate — our church activities.
Do all of your co-workers and nearby neighbors know you’re a Christian?
I pray that they will soon and that you’ll ask God for wisdom with how best to communicate that message.
One of those co-workers or neighbors just might start wanting to know more about a faith that compels people to stand up for what they believe.
As always, I love you
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