A Christian is a Christian 24/7, inside and out, on and off the clock. So the fruit of the Spirit - all of it, including Love - should be evident and relevant and genuine in every context. That includes work!
According to Galatians 5:22-23, "... The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Not "fruits", some of which are evident in a believer and others not, but "fruit". Like a platter of it. A fruit salad.
Whilst the scripture goes on to assure us that "against such things there is no law", the concept of gains, showing or sharing love at work doesn't necessarily come naturally to us all. Nevertheless, a Christian is a Christian 24/7, inside and out, on and off the clock. So the fruit - all of it - should be evident and relevant and genuine in every context. That includes work!
Luke 10:27 records the instruction “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” Now, before you decide to be cheeky and wonder if your work colleague can really qualify as a “neighbour” read through to end of that chapter in Luke!
How can we love our colleagues?
- Pray for them. Forming genuine, appropriate relationships is a great way to earn the right to share in the needs of our colleagues, which in turn gives us more to pray about.
- Be internally consistent. This is another way of saying hold true to your own values. Don't say the right things and do the right things and think with venom - clean up your head space!
- Be honest. What did you do on the weekend? Does “I went to church” ever pop out of your mouth? Can’t go to an after-works event because of a Bible study or ministry leadership commitment? Do you say so? Or do you only talk about that and not the fact that you also enjoy sporting events and going to the beach? Have you ever wondered what kind of picture that portrays? This is not too hard - be as open or as private as you want and choose to, but keep it consistent across faith and non-faith elements of your life.
Loving God in the workplace?
- Be thankful. Thank God that you have work and seek his guidance in your conduct.
- Be obedient. Don’t obey in some areas of your life and then refuse to be God’s servant at work. If you know he is prompting you to pray with someone, or pray for them, or have a meaningful conversation, then do it.
- Be consistent. There it is again – you can’t fake this stuff. Either you love God or you don’t. Would you use blasphemy at home or at church or at Bible study? Then don’t do it at work. Would you make religious or faith-based jokes anywhere else? Then extend that courtesy to God in your workplace as well.
Love can extend beyond immediate opportunities in the current work situation, too. Genuine relationships built over years are a rich source of true humanity. Life stages unfold, crises occur, celebrations arise. It may come as a surprise to some people to discover that LinkedIn Connections are actual people! Not statistics ... fellow humans. Sometimes, following up with these lovely people I find things to pray about, practical ways of encouraging or helping and often I feel God there as these people become vessels of blessing and encouragement to me too.