“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. John 15:18-20
Research has demonstrated that there are common attributes evident in people who are effective and successful in the workplace. These “success factors” are demonstrated by believers and nonbelievers alike. And while these characteristics on their own may be of some value, as believers we need to take into account the very clear words of Jesus when he said, “without me, you can do nothing.” A success factor may be great characteristic to have but, like everything, if not used in line with God’s direction, it may work against us. So, let’s consider what it might be like to work from the heart of God…
Take Standing Alone, for example. If there was ever a time when this attribute or character trait is needed it is today. In the name of tolerance believers are being pressured to agree with many things that are absolutely unacceptable in Kingdom life. Holiness provokes derision and righteous life is the butt of jokes. It is funny how those who shout the loudest about protecting the rights of others, who demand tolerance for every behavior and every lifestyle, put Christians solidly outside the circle of those they are willing to defend. But we were warned that this would be the case so it should neither discourage us nor cause us to waver in our commitment to obey the Lord and follow His commands.
Are you standing alone today? When someone in the workplace is being alienated, humiliated or rejected, do you reach out anyway? When your stand against profanity and degrading, demeaning jokes earns you the label of “prude” do you loosen up and “go along to get along”? There is no place for self-righteousness or superiority in our Christian walk but we are obligated to separate ourselves from things that are displeasing to God. We are called to love people but not bad behaviors. We can love others without agreeing when they claim all Gods are equal and that there are many paths to salvation. We don’t have to stay silent when they declare that God is simply a figment of the imagination or the wishful thinking of weak people. The fact that they are spiritually blind is no reason for us to turn out the lights and stumble around with them.
The truth is that the One who dwells within us is far greater than the forces and powers of this world. We have been given the power to overcome evil with good but we have to KNOW the true character of the God we serve and know that we are hidden securely in Christ in order to walk fearlessly and boldly in today’s workplace.
We are called to be light the darkness like a city set on a hill. We are the salt that has been spread throughout the workplace to season it with the favor and blessing of the Lord. So be honest, how are you doing in your dark piece of the planet? If you have been blending into the crowd, now is a great time to change that. And fear not! God will meet you right where you are and walk with you into the destiny He has designed for you. Remember always, God sees nothing wrong with you—just some things that haven’t been developed or matured in your Christ-likeness. Spend time focused on Him and His promises and you will become like Him.
The world needs you to rise up and stand out. Light up the darkness wherever you are and bring God glory by pouring out His love. Put His promises to the test by inviting Him into your most challenging circumstances and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you through them in triumph. The world will credit you with the courage and attribute of “standing alone” but in your heart you’ll know you’re never alone. God Almighty has chosen to stand with you!
How will you know if you are demonstrating the success factor?
You will be someone who:
- is willing to stand up and be counted
- doesn’t shy away from accepting personal responsibility
- can be counted on to stand firm and confident when times are tough
- will be the sole champion for an idea or position if the Holy Spirit leads you to do so
- can comfortably work alone on a tough assignment, knowing you are never really alone!
The Secret: It is simple really—you are NOT alone and you never will be. You have the indwelling Spirit of God and the confidence that He will never leave you. You can rest in the confidence David declares in Psalm 91:“The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”