sacred work in a secular workplace
Guest Devotional by Peggy Bodde
I run a foundation called Sacred Work that equips Christian women in the marketplace for free. A podcast host recently asked me, “Given the name of your foundation, how can we show up as sacred if we don’t feel comfortable openly sharing our faith in secular workplaces?”
First, let’s talk about what openly sharing our faith may not include. It may not include praying with someone, making sure we mention “church” as a weekend activity, or quoting the Bible to a coworker. Sometimes we put more effort into professing our faith than living it.
God doesn’t live in a compartment labeled “sacred.” He lives in us, and we carry the sacredness that comes from Him everywhere we go, including the workplace.
We openly share our faith in the workplace with every decision we make, the quality of work we produce, the words we speak, and how we treat our coworkers. All of this is true because we’re followers of Christ. When we embody Him at work, we’re giving everyone around us a glimpse of who He is.
So, what does this look like on a typical workday? Here are three suggestions:
1. Show excellence. Regardless of their beliefs, coworkers and employees will respect you if you’re skilled at what you do. By maintaining a strong work ethic and a positive attitude, you build trust. When we bring our best to the table, we glorify God, and—the respect we earn from the people we work with creates a solid foundation for relationships. Relationships open the door for us to share our faith.
2. Broker hope. When a crisis hits the workplace, like COVID-19, it threatens the company’s stability and distresses employees. As Christians, our responsibility is to face a crisis in a way that inspires hope and dispels fear. I guarantee your clients and co-workers will ask questions: “How are you staying so calm?” “Why aren’t you upset?” “Why aren’t you afraid?” These questions lead to meaningful conversations, which will inevitably point to the Source of your hope.
3. Love fully. I realize there aren’t a lot of career-development and business books that say, “Show your boss and co-workers you love them,” but God clearly places a top priority on love. If a co-worker loses a loved one, pay your respects. Be mindful to welcome and help new employees. As you interact with others, offer encouragement, express gratitude, and listen. Champion and mentor other women. Loving will set you apart.
We spend one-third of our lives at work. One-third! Whatever work we do wherever God has placed us, our Creator and spiritual identity moves with us, unchanged. I pray we would embrace the sacred inside us and allow it to shape how we act, speak, and engage with those God has entrusted us within the workplace.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:16 (NIV)