We spend a lot of our waking hours at work. And most of us aren’t exactly working at our dream jobs. Though God initially created work as a blessing (Genesis 2:15), most of us are too familiar with how far work has changed (not for the better) since then (Genesis 3:19). 

Yet whatever our work situation might be, Paul reminds us that in all things, we are Jesus’ representatives (2 Corinthians 5:20). Whether or not we’re aware of it, our actions towards (or even around) others are an opportunity we have to represent Jesus. Here are 7 ways we represent Jesus at work!

 

 

1. The attitude we carry

Do we drag ourselves in to work each day, counting the seconds until we can leave? Do we do the bare minimum required of us (sometimes with a little grumbling)? Or are we invested in giving our best, even if we’d really rather be doing anything but cleaning the bathroom stalls at the end of a really long shift? 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23). In a TGIF culture, our faithfulness to the work that we have before us (especially if it’s not glamorous) can be a great way to represent Jesus at work.

 

 

2. If we really see our coworkers

When Jesus preached to the thousands, or healed the sick, or spoke with the Samaritan woman, he really saw them as individuals—their hopes and fears, their needs and deep longings. 

Do we also take time to see our coworkers, as individuals lovingly created and bearing the image of God himself (Genesis 1:26-27)? Do we make the effort to learn their likes and dislikes, or ask about their worries and dreams? In a fast-paced and self-promoting culture, tactfully pausing to see and know others doesn’t only represent Jesus, it can also lead to more insight on how to specifically encourage them in the future.

 

 

3. How we process conflict

Whenever humans gather, for whatever reason, it’s only a matter of time before conflicts arise. As representatives of Jesus, we are called to be peacemakers. “Make the most of every opportunity,” Paul reminds us, “let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:5-6). 

Disagreements will happen, but instead of getting too defensive or quick to blame others, we can represent Jesus by remaining gracious, calm, and kind in our interactions, even when we’re having hard conversations. 

 

 

4. How we spend our time

On a busy day, we have to somehow juggle between the rush to finish morning prep, checking on a coworker who seems down, tending to the next client, finishing the next project…and the list goes on. It’s not easy when everything is demanding our attention right now, but how we spend our time while we’re on the clock definitely reflects our priorities.

It sounds cliché, but Jesus calls us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Especially during the busy days, we can represent Jesus by committing our work to God, and asking him to help us set our priorities. 

 

 

5. How we respond to stress

Life can be stressful—not having clarity about what exactly we’re working toward, dealing with demanding bosses, racing against time limits. We all react differently under stress, but how we handle stress really speaks to where we put our faith. 

“Do not be anxious about anything,” the familiar passage comforts us, “but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). The pressure of stress is real, but instead of pushing through by our own grit and stubbornness, we can acknowledge stress, and ask God to give us peace. We can represent Jesus to those around us through the peace we have that comes from knowing who we can rely on. 

 

 

6. The words we choose

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18). Our words are powerful. But man, it’s so easy to vent frustrations about certain coworkers behind their back, or join in unhealthy workplace banter for the sake of gaining clout. 

But instead, we can do the hard work of choosing honest but kind words, and directing frustrations to the right people. We can represent Jesus by being quick to offer praise where it is earned, and encouragement along with correction where it’s needed! 

 

 

7. How we talk about the latest happenings

Paul admonishes us to set our minds on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Philippians 4:8). But sometimes, this can be hard to square with Monday morning conversations about the latest trending movie or show. 

If Monday conversations turn to some of the more sordid or shameful details, perhaps we can redirect the conversation by pointing out something that we found inspiring or moving. Even as we talk about entertainment, we can represent Jesus.

 

Some of our coworkers see us more than family or friends—they see us on our good days and bad days, and will notice our attitudes and choices even in the small things. Let us pray that they see how the hope we have in Jesus infuses our every action. And let us “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).