By Robert J. Tamasy
Being a confirmed “non-techie,” someone who does not understand the what’s and why’s of computer technology, I have a very simple strategy when my computer is not working right. I shut it down and restart it to “reboot” the system and software. Most of the time it works, resetting things so they work properly – even though I do not understand why.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and began to spread around the world, virtually all of us were affected in a variety of ways. Our workplace schedules and routines were disrupted. Many found themselves either out of work temporarily or learning how to work from home. Lots of people suffered financial hardships because of reduced pay, or no income at all.
Such global adversity was unprecedented and unexpected, but like my computer, when things are not functioning as usual, perhaps that was a signal for time to “reboot” – to shut down and make a fresh start. It occurred to me that for those who follow Jesus Christ in the marketplace, it might have become a time to reconsider our approach to our vocations. What are our motives, our purpose and objectives?
Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” And 1 Corinthians 3:9 states, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” If that is true, what does it look like in a practical sense? I think portions from another passage, 2 Corinthians 5:14-20, give us clarification:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again…. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
There is much we can learn from this passage, but a central theme is that since Jesus Christ died on our behalf and reconciled us to God, we are called to represent Him to others – including those we encounter in the marketplace every day – as His ambassadors. Here are some key points we might consider as we have this time to “reboot”:
We are God’s workmanship. We each are unique persons, with a combination of gifts, talents, experience and passions unlike anyone else. We are to use them all for His glory.
We are “His field, His building.” Countless people all around us, in offices and stores and manufacturing plants, need to hear the reconciling message of Jesus Christ. The fact that God has seen fit to place us where we are is evidence He wants us to represent Him there.
We are the Lord’s ambassadors. An ambassador does not pursue his or her own agenda, but the goals and purposes of those being represented. In a similar way, in the marketplace we are to serve and represent our Lord, through our actions and our words.
© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy has written numerous books, including Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; The Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard; and has edited other books. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
1. How has the COVID-19 virus pandemic affected you personally? What has been its impact on your company? At this point, how far along the path to recovery are you?
2. Since all of our normal work routines have been disrupted in some way during this time, have you ever thought about taking this opportunity for a “reset,” to re-evaluate what you have been doing, why you have been doing it, and how things could be different once things return to “normal”?
3. What do you think of the idea that we are “God’s workmanship”? What does that mean to you? If you were to make that understanding an intentional, conscious part of how you approach each workday, would it make a difference in your conduct on the job, your goals and motivations? Explain your answer.
4. It has been said that for those who follow Jesus Christ, whenever we step out of our offices, or our cubicles, the buildings where we work, or even travel somewhere for business, we are entering the mission field. Do you believe this? Why or why not?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 13:6, 14:23, 22:29, 28:2; Matthew 6:19-21,33-34. 25:14-30