Sunday, December 10, 2006

Good News for a Bad Day at Work

I suspect you've experienced some really bad days at work-the kind that made you wonder why you even got out of bed that morning. Perhaps it's the loss of a sales opportunity you've been working on or the demise of a critical project. On other occasions, bad days may arise from conflicts with coworkers, bosses and clients. Needless to say, after nearly 20 years in the technology arena, I've had my share of "bad days".

How do we respond in the face of these adversities at work? Does God have a purpose in the midst of our troubled day? Is there really good news for a bad day at the office?

If you find yourself in such a situation, here are a couple of ways, I believe we can view our circumstances and respond biblically -

The first and best thing we can do is to preach the gospel to ourselves relentlessly. However, there are two temptations that may hinder us in this regard.

The first is to think of the gospel as a message for unbelievers that we "graduate" out of when we come to faith in Christ. This kind of thinking in wholly incorrect. The good news of Jesus Christ is a life giving message for all - for those yet to respond in repentance as well as those who have come to faith but continue to live in this fallen world.

Another temptation is to think of the gospel as impractical to matters of our vocation. Many Christians, myself included, may unwittingly treat our work life in the "marketplace" as a gospel free zone. Sure, the gospel may be applicable on in church or even at home...but at work? Yet, these are the very moments that the gospel is most applicable. We need to be reminded that no matter how pressing the problems may be at work, they cannot compare to our greatest problem - the problem of our sin. For this predicament, God has provided a remedy at great cost to Himself. We need to infuse our hearts with gospel centered scriptures that lead us to meditation. Passages like 1 Peter 3:18, 2nd Cor 5:21 are dripping with gospel truth.

The second way to respond in face of a bad day is to consider our adversities with godly purpose in view. I find that adversity is often a way that God reveals His eternal worth to us. It is not the experience of trials that lead to maturity but how we encounter and engage those trials. Trials are designed to remind us of the temporal nature of this life and the eternal worth of knowing Christ. On a recent bad day, I found myself fraught with anxiety yet I sensed the Holy Spirit reminding me of 2 Cor 4:17-18

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

I was also encouraged to desire God and hope in Him from Psalm 73:25 where David writes

"Whom have I in heaven but you. There is nothing on earth that I desire beside you. My heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

This is good news indeed!

If you want more good news for a bad day, check this out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This statement "It is not the experience of trials that lead to maturity but how we encounter and engage those trials" holds a lot of truth in it.

I went through that 'persecution' with a torturing & bullying boss for 4.5 years. You must be wondering why I stayed there for so long then. And how did I go went through. My wife prayed this prayer for me "God, I pray that you'll find him a job after you have made him learnt what he's supposed to learn during this period".

Powerful prayer indeed as what I have learnt during 'trial period' was very useful in my stint in Sudan. Though I didn't enjoy that few years but looking back my testimony did stand. In the end, the senior management assisted me to be transferred to another department where now I have been entrusted with greater responsibilities and surprisingly, job satisfaction.