As an Employer
(Ruth 2, “And… the reapers… answered [Boaz], ‘The Lord bless thee’”.)
(1 Sam. 25:17, “Our master [Nabal] is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.”)
As an employer, I must realize that I am the pacesetter in my workplace. My employees will see me as the primary person responsible for the environment in which they have to work. My attitude and outlook will set the atmosphere for the company or department, and it will trickle down from there. As in the case of Boaz and Nabal, so in ours. Employees will know very well what type of person I am by the way I conduct myself and my business. Am I able to impress upon them that I care about them and their lives, or do they think all I care about is my business and my bank account? Can they see that my profession of faith in Christ causes me to be content, happy, honest, satisfied? Does my integrity show through to them as I go about the business? These are questions I can ask myself as I think about reaching them with the gospel.
Your employees probably know more about your business than you think they do. They also know more about your reputation in the community than you do, because people that are hesitant to tell their opinion to you will readily express it to your employees. I must be very careful about the standards I set in every aspect of the business, whether the quality of the product, the fairness of pricing, or the level of service. If I haven’t proven to them that my God and His Word provide direction to me, even in business, I have failed in one of the most basic aspects of testimony.
That testimony extends to others besides employees. How about fellow businessmen and women, my creditors, my vendors and suppliers, my customers or clients or patients? If questioned about me, would their response bring to mind Boaz, or Nabal? Am I truly seen as honest, one who keeps his promises, one who is reasonable (Phil 4:5), one who is fair? Do I pay my bills? Do I deliver what I said I would? Is my life, as they see it, worthy of Christ? I need to strive to be as Christ-like as possible, that when the opportunity is available, I can present the gospel without shame.
I am Self-employed, with No Employees
Many employers/managers would envy you, because your situation is void of some of the “people-problems” associated with managing employees. But the landscape of your field of labor in the gospel isn’t a lot different. You still have people to whom you offer your services (they are like your employer), and some person or entities that you rely on to assist you in providing your commodity (similar to employees or subcontractors). The underlying principles all remain the same. You are rubbing shoulders all day, every day, with many of the same people, and your testimony and reputation are what they will base their opinion of you. If you are consistently able to live a godly, admirable life before them, even if faced with adversity, they will be drawn to you, and you will have abundant opportunities to spread the blessings of God to others.
Whatever station we occupy in the workplace, God is able and willing to use us for His glory and for the furtherance of His Word and kingdom. Let us not be discouraged, either by refusal or by our own inability. We can take heart, because it is God’s work, and in time He will bring His Word to fruition (Isa 55:11).