Character and Integrity
Since most of us will spend about 45 years of our lives working, this is a very important part of our lives. And due to the significant amount of the time of our life we will engage in work, how we conduct ourselves in this activity will reveal much about our Character and Integrity. The attitudes of many younger workers today is often looked at by older employees as well as employers as very self-centered. They've found that many younger workers don’t want to work hard but they want more money. If you are a Christian, how do you conduct yourself when working?
If you are a Christian employee, think about the character you display at work. Are you giving your employer at least one hour of work for each hour they are paying you to be there, or do you spend some of that time on personal activities like texting, surfing, on the phone, etc.? If you aren't doing what you are paid to do during the time you are at work, you are technically taking money for doing something other than what you were hired for. Essentially taking money that doesn't belong to you. Remember in one of the early sections, what is it called when we take something that doesn't belong to us? To make this more applicable, is there anything you are doing at work that you wouldn't do if your employer were standing right behind you? If so, you are taking pay for work you are not doing.
I believe because of the importance of the integrity we show through how we conduct ourselves in work, the Apostle Paul wrote:
2 Thessalonians 3:6-10 " Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat."
Paul emphasizes the importance of work and our character demonstrated through our work. In the last verse of this passage Paul goes on to say:
"If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat."
Applied to our current culture, it could say:
"If anyone isn't willing to work, and give to their employer the amount of work the employer is paying them for, they shouldn't get paid."
As a Christian, and especially if we are guilty of not giving an hour of work for an hour's pay, it is important to ask ourselves an important question. Who are we ultimately working for? Are we working for an employer or are we working for God? We are ultimately working for God and not an employer, right? Realizing that we work for God and not an employer should motivate us to do our best in whatever work we are employed in. And remember, God sees everything. Think back to the questions I raised about how we spend our time. Since we ultimately work for God, how would God view how we spend HIS time at our employment? Would he give us a raise, a reprimand, or would we deserve to be fired?
Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
Considering the negative and unfortunately too often accurate impression many employers have of younger workers, as a Christian you have an opportunity to change that impression by being different than what many employers and non-Christian co-workers have come to expect from younger Christian employees. If you can give your employer a different impression than what they are expecting, and change their beliefs about at least one younger worker who is a Christian, YOU, then when they find out that you are a Christian, you might change their impression of Christianity too.
I remember a friend telling me of a company they worked for some years previous. There was a younger Christian employee who exhibited this self-centered entitled attitude. They told me that this individual more often than not would sit on their computer for significant amounts of time they were at work, and much of many days they were at work. Often when they did work it was because they picked the things they wanted to do. They would also regularly not be at work for the entire shift, often arriving late and leaving early and taking long lunches. He told me that some of the other Christians there mentioned that more than a few non-Christian employees commented negatively about Christianity because of this young Christian and those non-Christian's experience with a few of the other Christians. The work ethic of that Christian worker influenced the non-Christian co-workers in their impression of Christianity.
What type of impression of Christianity do others have based upon the work ethic you display at work? Similar to the question I asked earlier, how would you feel if you found that another person rejected even considering Christ because of the character you demonstrated? Think again about that John Wooden quote, applicable to both men and women:
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
Our character is fully visible to God, and He sees into the deepest areas of our heart.
The Christian View of Work – Very good site on our work character!
What are Christian work ethics?
5 Attitudes To Get You Ahead In The Workplace
Reasons to Get Fired from Your Job
Zig Ziglar - Discipline and Commitment
Zig Ziglar - Being an overcomer
Nick Vujicic - Attitude is Altitude.com / Life Without Limbs.org
The Incredible Love Story of Nick Vujicic and His Wife
Learn To Live The Life God Has Called You To
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