“…the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials…(II Peter 2:9).”
There’s an article in the news today about keeping happy and healthy on the job. It gives practical advice such as drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration, spicing up your desk with photos of loved ones and emergency equipment such as nail clippers, and doing stretching exercises.
The article offered some good advice on maintaining physical and emotional well being at work. But what about keeping spiritually healthy and happy at work?
Any time we deal with people, we are facing the possibility of spiritual warfare. We are all a fallen race and many are looking out for number one. Just yesterday I encountered some situations where people were either denigrating me behind my back or patronizing me.
We should be under no illusions concerning what we Christians will meet with when we encounter unrighteous people on the job. The apostle Peter reminded his readers of the abuse Noah and Lot took living and working with the ungodly (II Peter 2:5-8).
Peter describes such people as arrogant and ignorant. They despise authority. They act like animals. They’re not even afraid to attack the characters of heavenly beings, so what makes us think they will keep their mouths shut when it comes to us (II Peter 2:10-12).
Heaven forbid such a person is the boss! But wicked people are bosses, too. Peter suggests that they can inflict unjust suffering (I Peter 2:18-20) and the Psalmist says that they can persecute us (Psalm 119:161).
It’s good to be aware of what we face every day at work. But awareness is only part of maintaining one’s sanity in the office. Just as a physically and emotionally well worker maintains his work space and body in the office, there are some practical things we can do to keep our spirits fit.
The primary thing we can do to keep sane in the office among ungodly people is to follow God’s Word ourselves. Bosses may harangue us, but we’re to shake in our boots over the Scriptures, not their rebukes (Psalm 119:61). By following God’s Word, we can become godly ourselves and learn to be kind and loving to those who abuse us at work (II Peter 1:5-8).
We ought to respect others we work with (I Peter 1:17,18). We shouldn’t retaliate when we aren’t respected in kind. Instead, we need to submit ourselves to God and trust Him in the midst of suffering on the job (I Peter 1:19-23).
A little humility goes a long way. In my own annoyance yesterday, I realized there was some truth to the content of the attacks leveled against me. I can always improve in my weak areas, and that’s what I aim to do; in fact, that’s all I can do. The rest I have to leave in God’s hand.