Our men’s group at church is doing a study on the book Lies Men Believe And The Truth That Sets Them Free by Robert Wolgemuth. We were tasked with picking one of the lies to teach and give a testimony on.
To start, I highly recommend the book. It’s a very easy read and you can jump around to the different lies you might be telling yourself right now to learn a lot. I scanned the list of lies and stumbled on lie number twenty-nine “my faith and my work are unrelated.” It sounded a lot like the lie that I was telling myself for many years when I started my first business and began my journey chasing fame and fortune in Silicon Valley. I knew this was the lie I would teach on.
The chapter starts out with the story of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, who the authors notedly point out is someone we forever think of as a “troll.” I laughed out loud when I read this because I certainly consider myself to be a troll in the context of online discourse. Now of course the context for Zacchaeus is different—troll referring to his height— but the use of the word in this chapter still spoke to me as a confirmation that I had picked the right lie to teach on.
The authors point out that Zacchaeus was a “notorious sinner,” and aren’t we all? This certainly caused people to grumble when Jesus wanted to spend time directly with him. In Luke 19:8 we learn that Zacchaeus was repentant of his sins when he says “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything I restore it fourfold.”
Zacchaeus was demonstrating that he was prepared to follow Christ in every area of his life including with his money and his work. We must be willing to follow his example. Our culture doesn’t care that Jesus is the King of our own precious little hearts in private, but the second we say that Jesus is the King of kings and that all nations belong fully to His authority; suddenly the worldly culture has a big problem with us.
The authors note Matthew 5:14-16, which states “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before there, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
We aren’t called to be Christians on Sunday or only in the privacy of our own homes. We must live for all of Christ, all of our life, in every area of our lives. Including at work. Men often convince themselves of the lie that they need to hide their faith at work in order to advance or prevent someone at work from getting “offended.” This is a big lie. One that I told myself for years.
When I started my first business I was living a double life. I was “Tech Entrepreneur Andrew” during the week and “Christian Andrew” at home and on the weekends. Matthew 6:24 tells us that “No man can serve two masters: for he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Is this not exactly what we are doing when we tell ourselves this lie? By the grace of God after many years I had finally recognized that I was telling myself this lie and it was time to make a choice. I could go all-in on “Worldly Tech Entrepreneur Andrew” or I could become Christian Tech Entrepreneur Andrew and serve Christ and others with my work. The choice was clear. I was going to start living out my faith and glorifying God in every area of my life, including my work.
What did that look like for me? It meant that I stopped being afraid to share Bible verses online in front of millions of people. It means I no longer fear sharing my spiritual struggles and battles. I no longer had to put on a “business mask” and hide my true thoughts, opinions, and views on controversial-but-important subjects—including faith.
I considered my work not something that was being done to benefit me, but rather something I was doing to glorify God and serve others. That made all the difference. The attacks on both myself personally and on my business increased, but God was faithful. He protected both the business and my family while providing more than I could have possibly imagined.
Rejecting this lie and living out your faith at work is going to look different for everyone, but one of the best ways we can demonstrate God’s love is simply by doing our very best and committing to excellence in our work for the glory of God no matter what that work may be.
The authors used a quote from Martin Luther that I thought hit this point well. “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”
Our society is desperately lacking people who care about their work and go the extra mile to strive for excellence. So much so that when you find someone who does their work well you can’t help but notice them. That’s your opportunity to share the Gospel.
Bad things happen when a society stops building and working for the glory of God and only does the bare minimum—if that—to get collect a paycheck. If you look around in your daily life you’ll find horrible service, child-like mistakes and errors, and foolish workers who are incompetent from blue-collar to white-collar jobs and everywhere in between.
I stumble across total incompetence everywhere in our society daily—including from people, businesses, and “professionals” you’d never expect. As a business owner, I have to be on top of every detail to catch other people’s incompetence. It’s frustrating, but if I don’t do it my business will pay the price for someone else’s lack of care and attention to detail.
As 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This is what we must remember to overcome this lie. People will notice when you do your work well with a commitment to excellence for the glory of God.
The Truth of this chapter is: “our faith and our work cannot be compartmentalized; we should faithfully serve Him and others in everything we do.”
Amen to that.
Jesus Christ is King of kings