I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I’m one of those “tent-making” pastors. You know, the guys who work a full-time “secular” job in order to pay the bills. I’m not complaining. On the contrary, I’m very thankful that God has made a way for me to provide for my family by giving me a job I enjoy. Plus, I get to work closely each day with people who need to hear about Jesus.
I’ve worked all of my adult life in computer technology (which is surprising considering that I entered college as a music education major). I enjoy the problem solving, but it can be frustrating. In fact, the picture attached to this post is me at about 2:00am during a network hardware upgrade. Pretty sad, huh?
So as Christians, what impact should our faith have on our role as employees? In the next few weeks I’ll be writing a series of posts about this issue. What prompted this was something I read in an article from Tech Republic called, “10 Reasons For Quitting IT.” Under reason #4 the author wrote:
A long time ago, I was a positive, upbeat, people-loving kind of person. But after being in the consulting business, I’ve found myself getting taken advantage of, used, abused, unpaid, underpaid, unappreciated, and more. It’s a constant fight to resist wanting to retreat to the woods and off the grid.
When I read that I have to admit it pinched a bit. I’ve found myself feeling like that plenty of times. What God has been teaching me is that this is the natural response of my selfish human nature (i.e. “the flesh”). As a slave of Christ, I need to have a completely different response when people mistreat me. Jesus said,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
So, as a Christian, my actual response to being used, abused, etc. needs to be the opposite of my natural response. Now I know that if I rely on my own strength to accomplish this, then the best I can hope for is complete failure. Fortunately, I don’t need to rely on my own strength. Jesus has fullfilled His promise to fill me with His Holy Spirit so that when I surrender control to Him then I can respond as He would. Like Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).
Today I will live like Jesus by surrendering myself to Him and allowing Him to live through me. You should do the same.