Day 7 of Testimony in the Workplace Study
“Instead, exalt the Messiah as Lord in your lives. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you to explain the hope you have (1 Peter 3:15, ISV).”
A former co-worker of mine used to answer my question the same way every single time. I would ask, “How are you doing?” Without fail, his answer was the same: “Terrible, you?” I think he was joking, but I was never really sure! He didn’t often exude the happiness and charm of a joyful person. Needless to say, that isn’t the type of response I would recommend giving people on a consistent basis! They just might start believing you.
Depending on the part of the United States (or other countries) you might live in, the ability to vocally express your Christian beliefs may be either widely accepted or widely rejected. Living in the southern part of the US for almost my entire life, the idea of claiming Christianity is not outside of the norm. Talking about the Bible in school wasn’t rare growing up. And although it can be tricky at times, the topic of the Bible and religion isn’t entirely unheard of in the workplace around here. Where you live it might be completely different. I remember sitting in the office of a former co-worker openly discussing the Gospel, topics in Revelation, and other biblical doctrines. I understand that isn’t exactly typical. But no matter where you live or work, there are obviously things you can do.
These are the types of things that can sometimes lead to opportunities—questions. When you are eating your lunch at work, you are absolutely free to bow your head and give thanks for your food. If you are out with co-workers for lunch, do the same. It doesn’t have to be some big show: “Excuse me, would you be quiet for the next 2 minutes? I’m going to be praying over here!” Even a simple, “Excuse me for a moment” before bowing your head is sufficient. They see what you’re doing—more importantly, they know what you’re doing. They might not say a thing about it, but they’ll remember. Keep a Bible in your office or at your desk. The simple sight of it might be the most of the Bible they see! But your peers will see it, and they’ll remember. I would think the wearing of those rubber bracelets with a verse on it would be acceptable in most places. People see and remember. And, of course, be a good “advertisement” for Christianity. Have a good attitude, a joyful disposition, and be approachable.
It can all lead to scenarios that just might surprise you. Questions might be asked—“Why are you so happy all the time?” Certain topics might come up—“I know you read the Bible, so I was wondering what do you think about [fill in the blank]?” Requests might be made—“I’ve seen you pray. Can you pray for my dad?” You might even have this one asked—“How can I know I’m going to Heaven?” You might be rolling your eyes, but I’ve just listed four exact questions I’ve been asked. And when that time comes, we need to be ready. We need to make sure we are armed to buy up those opportunities and make them count. Don’t be shy! If they are soliciting the answers, I believe we are free to provide them! Peter said that people will ask—“Why do you have so much hope?” We live in a world void of hope, and being able to answer that question is vitally important. If I have provided a godly testimony at work, the answers I give to these questions should carry some weight. “I’m happy because I’m not home yet.” “I’ll pray for your dad. In fact, is it okay if we pray for him right now?” And for that final question, share your own testimony.
Of course, it goes without saying that I am often haunted by the opportunities I’ve missed. The people from whom the questions never came—or those I acted like an idiot around. There were opportunities, but I missed them. There is no sense dwelling on them or allowing myself to be depressed about them—I missed them, and they’re gone forever. My focus must be on the next opportunity, and making sure I don’t miss it.
Live your life in such a way that those questions will come your way. And if they do, answer them in the way that the old KJV encourages us to—with meekness and fear. Make sure the person knows that you truly care for them. Give them reasons to want to know more about what makes you tick. The opportunities are there—it’s up to us to live godly lives, patiently wait, and then buy them up. Make these moments count! There are more people than we would like to admit that are starving for the truth—for answers—for hope. What an honor it would be to step in and provide the words they need!