Work: The Bigger Picture
God is intensely interested in how each of us uses the talents, resources, power, opportunities, and freedoms he’s given us at work. And why wouldn’t he be...
We get so used to relating to people at work on a purely professional level and we forget that our colleagues and clients have whole lives outside of the workplace. So as you go to work today, be nosy! Within the bounds of appropriateness, of course – but start showing a friendly curiosity about people’s lives and ask God to heighten your awareness of the state of those around you. Is anyone distracted, under pressure, unusually tired? Simply asking someone how they’re doing – and actually listening to the answer – is a simple way to reflect God’s love that can make a huge difference.
God knows we’re forgetful and has always encouraged his people to use practical ways of reminding themselves of his presence and commandments (take a look at Deuteronomy 6:5-9). So try using just a few small things to help you remember God at work this week – like a particular image on your screen saver, a different ring tone on your mobile, a meaningful laptop password, an unusual but significant object on your desk, even a note on your ‘to-do’ list. Sometimes we need to be more literal about inviting God into our everyday practical tasks.
It’s all too easy to hit send without thinking how an email might be received, but emails can add stress, be misleading and be detrimental to working relationships. So this week, before you start typing, think ‘Do I need to send this or could I make the effort to talk face-to-face with the person?’ Sometimes they’re just down the corridor or at the next workstation – and even if they’re further away, a quick call or Skype can really help you to better understand each other and the task at hand.
Why not use your daily trips to the coffee point as a chance to spend 30 seconds praying about a work issue, using just one line from the Lord’s Prayer. ‘Hallowed be your name’ – God, help me to remember that ultimately it’s you I’m serving today. ‘Your Kingdom come’ – in my relationship with that customer; in my conversation with that colleague. ‘Give us today our daily bread’ – I really need your help to work efficiently and finish this project on time. You’ll be surprised how it changes your perspective.
What frustrates you about your workplace? What do you always moan about to your colleagues, your friends, your other half? When you’ve identified something you’d like to see changed – unhealthy competition, an absence of joy, gossip – then halt the complaining and do something simple to address it. Like give away a sales lead, buy chocolate for your team, or talk up your colleagues. It might feel like a drop in the ocean, but it only needs a shift of one degree to take an enormous ocean liner to a completely different destination.