I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
Today concludes our five-week series exploring biblical principles for working in environments that are increasingly hostile to the ways of the Lord. Today’s passage contains the final principle I want us to explore:
Principle #5: Christians are called to become all things to all people for the sake of the gospel.
One of the reasons why God has you working “outside the camp” is because it is through the work of mere Christians—not primarily pastors and religious professionals—that God will save the lost in our "post-Christian" context. But to make disciples at work you, like Paul, must “become all things to all people”—doing everything you can (other than sin) to build relationships with non-believers.
This could look like having lunch with a different co-worker once a week to...
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:13)
Last week, we explored the biblical call to “live such good lives” amongst our non-Christian co-workers that they have nothing credible to say against us (see 1 Peter 2:11-12). And we saw that that includes our submission to all authorities—even bosses who are antagonistic towards Christianity (see 1 Peter 2:13-22).
But we are only obedient up to a point. In the rare instances in which an authority explicitly asks us to contradict the Lord’s commands—when they ask us to lie to a co-worker, embellish the truth to land a deal, or stop talking about Jesus—we are free and obligated to dissent. We choose to obey God, not man (see Acts 5:27-32), otherwise our “salt loses its saltiness” and “is no longer good for anything.” That...
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:11-12)
We’re in a series exploring five biblical principles for working in exile. Today, we come to our third principle, straight from Peter’s letter “to God’s elect, exiles” (1 Peter 1:1):
Principle #3: Christians are called to live “such good lives” that non-Christians have nothing credible to say against us.
Though he lived hundreds of years before Peter penned the words of today’s passage, Daniel (of lion’s den fame) offers a terrific case study of what this principle looks like in practice. Like you and me, Daniel worked in exile—specifically as an official inside the Babylonian government. And he modeled the goodness Peter describes in...
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Last week, we saw the first of five biblical principles for working in exile—namely that a Christian’s default position should be to rush into dark workplaces, not retreat from them. This is in line with Jesus’s prayer in John 17:15-18 when he asked the Father to send his followers “into the world.”
But in the same breath, Jesus also asked the Father to “protect them from the evil one.” You see, while Jesus never intended for his followers to isolate themselves from the world, he has called us to insulate ourselves before going into our dark workplaces and communities.
How? Through study of God’s Word (see John 17:17) and Christian community. That’s what the writer of Hebrews is...
The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. (Hebrews 13:11-13)
Chances are that your workplace feels increasingly “post-Christian.” The HR department is now encouraging employees to customize their gender pronouns; talk of religion is quietly discouraged; and your employer is making headlines for their support of pro-choice causes.
In the face of these trends, it’s natural to wonder whether you should quit your job and find a new role in a ministry or a business led by a fellow Christian—a workplace that is “better aligned with your values.”
God may be calling you to do that, but I seriously doubt it for two reasons.
First, Jesus himself worked in dark places. As we saw in today’s...