I’m sure if you’re reading this, you fully understand the challenges of keeping your faith in the midst of a demanding work environment. Even though some workplaces are obviously more challenging than others, we could all use some advice in this area. So what are some realistic ways for a believer to keep their faith?
The first thing we should remember is that as a believer, you are called to be a witness for Jesus no matter where you are. Whether you’re a teacher at a school, an attendant at a gas station or an airplane pilot, your attitude should reflect Christ at all times. As a teacher, it requires great patience to deal with various personalities and attitudes from young students. Maybe for the teacher, remembering that you’re investing in the the education of a future world leader trumps having to deal with a bad attitude. A gas station attendant could look at every person that walks through the door as an opportunity instead of just another number in a long line. An airplane pilot could view each flight through the eyes of someone who is flying for the first time instead of the same demanding flight he’s flown for years. It’s all about whom you serve and the attitude you serve with; not where you serve.
Another important thing to remember is that, as a believer, you’re really working for Christ and not your earthly boss – Col.3:23 -“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for The Lord rather than for men”. Yes, you are to respect and honor whomever you work for and work to the best of your ability. However, God is the ultimate Judge when this temporary life is over. Therefore, remembering God’s rightful place in your life should help you to view your work in the correct light. Our time on this planet is relatively short compared to eternity. Therefore, we only have a certain amount of time, so this should make us even more focused.
We are all called to work. God expects us to work. And with few exceptions, we will all face stress and we will all have demanding days. I remember my first full-time job, working in a dirty factory. It was definitely not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. However, the pay was good enough to allow me to live on my own without help from my parents. The real world experience that I gained from that period was absolutely priceless. It was a demanding job both physically and mentally. Some of my co-workers were the most jaded, bitter people that I’d ever encountered. There were days that I would come home exhausted. However, the longer I worked there, the more thankful I became that God was helping me accomplish not only my monetary goals at that time but also that I was able to be a witness to some of my jaded co-workers. I was even able to lead someone to salvation in Christ during my tenure there! I eventually moved on to another job that I was better suited for but my time at that first full-time job prepared me for the next step.
With all of this being said, if your work is always demanding but never fulfilling or rewarding then you may need to question if you’re in the right profession. God gives everyone various natural talents and gifts that He expects us to use for His glory. If your current job is constantly draining then maybe it’s time to rethink what you’re doing. If you love what you do, then it won’t matter how long you work since you’ll be engaged in what you were created to do.
In the end, as with most things in a believer’s life, the road that God allows for you to walk will be rocky at times. It will have many twists and turns. You will experience many storms. You may even be broken at some point. However, no matter how demanding your work is, just remember that anything you do for God’s glory is not in vain – 1 Cor. 15:8 – “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”