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I work in the construction world. Especially here on the east coast, it can be a cut-throat, brutal experience. People are clamoring to get ahead of the next person or to squash the competitors. Language choice is colorful to say the least, and sometimes the content of conversation makes the Howard Stern Show seem like a visit to Sunday School. Living and working in this environment can be a challenge especially for someone who is trying to follow Christ and to represent Him with integrity and character.
I’ve worked in the industry for nearly twenty years, and it hasn’t always been easy. I don’t always have the right words to say, and I sometimes regret the actions I’ve taken. I question myself wondering if I said what I should have said or if I did what I should have done. I want others to see my faith come alive in my words and in my actions. After twenty years, I sometimes wonder if I’m making a difference.
Sometimes it’s the simplest conversations or interactions which remind me I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
A few weeks ago, one of my team members came into my office to tell me about the struggle she was having outside the office. Her mom had been taken to the hospital. The doctors at the hospital informed my teammate and her family that their mother was in her final days. I listened for several minutes as my teammate explained the situation. As she was leaving my office, I asked her, “I know this isn’t the typical question you get in the office, but I’ll ask anyway. Is there something specific for which I can pray for you?” She responded very affirmatively.
Then late last week, another one of my team members stopped by to inform me his young son was being taken to the hospital in response to some type of virus or infection. I had the opportunity to listen to him and to offer my encouragement. He texted me a couple of times throughout the weekend to give me progress reports on his son’s improving condition. We didn’t have a major conversation, but I still had an opportunity to let him know I cared about him and his family.
It’s interactions like these which remind me I am making a difference.
I’ve been more aware of conversations and interactions with other employees throughout the office over the past couple of weeks. People want to know you care. They may carry around a rough exterior, but they are people who are going through all kinds of challenges and frustrations. They are crying out for someone to listen to them, and they are grasping to find the truth. As Christian leaders in the workplace, we have a huge opportunity to show our team members a glimpse of Christ. Will we always get it right? Probably not. But I’m convinced God can used messed up people like us to make a difference in the lives of others by shining His light. We shine God’s light by being alert to others, by making wise choices, by acting with integrity, and by speaking with truth and love.
I hope and pray I never lose sight of the opportunity to serve and represent Christ right where I am.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… I Peter 3:15
How are you making a difference right where you are?
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