We’ve all had those days. You don’t hear the alarm so you wake you late, as you try to get ready, you realize that your favorite blouse has a stain. As you try to unwrinkle your second favorite top you hear the unmistakable sound of children arguing! “ALREADY?!” you ask yourself as you stumble down the hall and to the kitchen where you hear slamming cabinets, as you round the corner you see cereal spilled on the floor and milk on the table. Your youngest begs for a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana and you refuse, with the excuse that you don’t have time. After he throws a temper tantrum, you give in, only to have him drop it, chunky-peanut-butter-side down, on the floor on his way to the table. You finally prepare to leave, grab your keys, and walk out the door. Halfway between home and work, you realize you left your lunch AND those important papers you needed, on the table at home. As you drop your kids off and park at work, I want you to ask yourself one question before you open the door and go to meet your co workers, “How will my attitude affect others for Christ today?”
Philippians 2 tells us some ways to be like Christ and some ways to alter our attitudes for Christ.
It would be so easy to walk into your workplace and make it all about you, your horrible morning, your wrinkled shirt, your peanut butter on the floor, but who would want to be around you? Be selfless to help others. Christ emptied Himself to serve others. We should do just the same. Be selfless to spread the Word. Ask yourself what impression you are leaving. Are you putting yourself in a position that others will know you are a Christian, and that they can come to you for help or advice?
It would be so easy to walk into your workplace and not talk to anyone. You may think “I’m not being rude; I just want to keep to myself” But realize there is someone who may have more than just a bad morning, but something bigger going on. Be humble to help others. How many people do you know who have turned to Christ in times of trial? That is when people are searching for answers and many times begin to believe in “Something Bigger.” Be humble to spread the Word. Do we like to talk to people who are full of themselves? 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 tells us to be all things to all men! Yes, we know this does not mean to become a drunkard so you can relate to those who drink, but it does mean to be lowly with the low, and higher with the high. It is key to let others know we do not judge them (for God is the only Judge), but that we love and care for them!
Realize that God is at work within you
It would be so easy to walk into the workplace and use vulgar words to express your frustration, to join in that not-so-clean joke, or even join in the bashing of your boss or a fellow co-worker just because it’ll make you feel better. Realize God is at work within you to help others. It’s not just about you. You already have the greatest gift in your salvation; share your gift. Realize God is at work within you to spread the word. Matthew 5:14-16 says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” People will realize you’re a Christian more when you are not participating in their sinful practices.
So how does your day go once you get out of the car? As you walk up to the building you hold the door open for others. You go to that important meeting and remember you left an extra copy of your important papers on your computer. At lunch when you have nothing to eat, a co-worker says “I have extra, would you like some? I know you would do the same for me.” You hear bickering between more co-workers who made an inappropriate joke about the other, but you don’t have any enemies in your work place because you don’t participate in those things. As the afternoon wears on, you think that although your second favorite blouse may not look as good, it sure is more comfortable. And as you leave, you can leave with the confidence knowing that you had a positive impact on others today, even if your morning started out rough! You actually feel better about yourself in the fact that no one can doubt your faith. They all know you are faithful and they can’t call you a hypocrite or doubt your beliefs. You can pick your kids up with a smile on your face, which you know they would rather see than the you they saw in the morning. What effect are you leaving?
By Wanda Gail Coker
Wanda Gail and her husband, James, are recent graduates of Bear Valley Bible institute of Denver. They currently reside in Woodland Park, CO where James is serving a pulpit minister at the Woodland Park Church of Christ. They have been married for 8 years and have three boys: Caleb, Mason and Jacob.