Getting Fired for Your Faith
By Jeff Bloomfield
Alright, I confess. I wrote the title simply to grab your attention. I’m sure there are a few exceptions but can you name someone in your circle whose been fired from their job due to their faith? Me neither. Now, here’s the irony of faith in the marketplace…if you’re so outspoken about your faith that it’s actually reached a point that firing you is the best option for your company, you probably did more damage to the Kingdom then good.
If firing is unlikely, why do people tend to get so uncomfortable when the idea of “faith in the workplace”? Outside of the crazy guy that is telling everyone they’re going to hell, I think fear, uncertainty and apathy prevent most people from sharing their faith in the marketplace.
Here’s the good news. What I believe brings Honor to God in the workplace are things you’re likely already pretty good at. What I believe brings honor to your co-workers is something they will immediately resonate with and appreciate. Sharing your faith in the marketplace is actually quite simple.
Step 1: Treat others as you’d like to be treated. You mean I have to do stuff that Jesus said we should do at work? Yep. Even to annoying Bob in accounting.
Step 2: Be non-judgmentally available. Don’t get sucked into the gossip zone but also don’t judge. Remember, most of your co-workers don’t know the grace that you know and haven’t come to fully appreciate the forgiveness that changed your life forever.
Step 3: Listen. Yes, it goes with step 2 but be quick to listen and slow to speak. Earn the right to be heard by first being a continuous, empathetic listener.
Step 4: Be an encourager. Look for the best in others and speak affirmation into them frequently. Especially the people who annoy you. People are drawn to positivity and when the world around them seems to continuously beat them down, they will come to the closest place of encouragement. Be that place.
Step 5: Be unapologetically courageous. At some point, people will tell you things that you know they need prayer for. Ask them if you can pray for them and that circumstance. Share with them that someone once had the courage to pray for you and it made all the difference in the world. You’ll be surprised how quickly someone will say yes to prayer. Then, don’t pray for them in the middle of the cafeteria in front of the entire company, do so privately, in a place where they are comfortable. Also, at some point, someone will ask you about your faith. Don’t sugar coat it. Tell them your story. Trust me, they won’t think it’s weird. At that point in the relationship, it will be like an oasis in their dry and desolate life.
Step 6: Pray. Make a list of co-workers that God lays on your heart and make it a habit to pray for them every morning before you even get to work. Download the 8 to 15 app to help you with this.
Step 7: Do the right thing. You can do steps 1-6 perfectly and blow it all by caving in on step 7 and losing your integrity. Once you’ve lost your integrity, you’ve lost your voice. However, doing the right thing will be another attractional quality that others will be drawn to.
The marketplace can be a dark place but you and I are to be the light of the world. Notice this verse doesn’t say we are to be the megaphone to the world. Just as Jesus says in the rest of Matthew 5:16, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Now that sounds a lot like Honor to me.