Jesus and Tim Tebow, Part 3

Our guest blogger today is again Wade Phillips, who blogs at “A Good Infection“.  He’s a TV news anchor in MS and a husband/father/deacon/SS Teacher combo!  Thank you for sharing this series with us. 
This is the third part in a series on life and faith, that was triggered by a segment I recently did on Tim Tebow at WMOX radio. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.
I am Tim Tebow. And you are Tim Tebow. We are all Tim Tebow. No, most of us will never set foot on an NFL football field for any reason; much less lead a game winning drive, (or a bunch of them, for that matter.) But there is one major thing that we all have in common with the budding star quarterback for the Denver Broncos. We have been given a vocation in which we are supposed to glorify God.
Now, I am neither a theologian, nor a son of a theologian, but I think that this idea of vocation is one of that has been greatly under-discussed in our churches today. How do I best glorify God in my work? Whether I am an NFL quarterback, or a TV news anchor, or an engineer, or a nurse, or a stay at home mom, I have been given a sphere of influence through my work, and I am to work in that sphere, to the best of my abilities, as an act of worship to Jesus.
Now, we need to be careful when we talk this way. Lots of people have encountered the “Jesus guy,” at their place of work. He or she is the person with the Bible verse screen saver, and the Bible on his desk, who is too “holy” to speak to his co-workers, except to call them out on their sin or decry the ills of society, or “witness” to them. Think Angela on “The Office.” The only thing her co-workers know about her faith there is that it seems to keep her in a constant state of “stick-up-her-behindedness.” The worst thing about these kinds of “Jesus people,” at work, is that they rarely, if ever, do any actual work. They make life harder on everyone else in more ways than one. So this is not who you want to be. But you do want to be someone who works to the glory of God. Paul made it very clear: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) That “whatever you do,” most certainly includes your job.
Here are a few things I try to keep in mind while I work, in an attempt to do it as an act of worship. Let me say from the beginning, that I do none of these perfectly. I fail often. I’m thankful for a forgiving Jesus.
1 – My main job as a Christian at work is to do the very best job I can do. This means showing up for work on time, working while I’m here, getting my work done in a prompt manner, being a team player, and producing quality, in whatever it is I’m doing. If I don’t do this, if other people at work see me as someone who’s trying to slack, then they’re not going to care about anything else. If I’m making work harder for my co-workers, because I’m not carrying my weight, then I have failed in my vocation. Now, there are times when it is possible that being the very best at work might come in conflict with my faith. I think these times are generally rarer than we think. But there may be times when being good at my job means spending too much time away from my family, or missing too much church. I’ve never worked in a place where I was asked to do something that I found morally questionable, but if it ever happened, I would be forced to choose doing the right thing over being the “good” employee.
2 – I must have a good attitude. This is easier some days than others. It’s quite natural for us to have days when we just don’t feel like coming to work. But this must be overcome. I’ve known, and have Christian co-workers who have terrible attitudes about their jobs and about life. If you complain all the time, you will probably draw a lot of people to you. Everyone loves to complain about their jobs. Misery loves company. People will come to you. But they will not respect you. And when there comes an appropriate time to share Christ with them, you will not have the credentials. But if you constantly work hard and don’t complain, people will notice. It might not happen quickly, but eventually it will be noticed. It’s amazing how easy it is to be considered a good worker, and become well-liked, if you keep your mouth shut and do your job.
3 – Look for appropriate times and places to share your faith. Now, this is going to be different for everyone. There is a time and place for this, and it is not when everyone is working. If you are a pastor, and you’ve never held a job in the real world, this may be hard to understand. But people don’t really want to hear about Jesus when they’re trying to do their jobs. They mainly want to get their work done and go home. The guy who is constantly talking about Jesus while others are trying to finish up the payroll project is not going to be very well liked. I work in a job with people from different parts of the country, and in some instances, the world. They are great people, and I have, for the most part, great relationships with them. And they know about my faith. It is no secret. But if I tried to share the Romans Road with some of these people, they would look at me like I just passed gas. I’m in it for the long haul with them, and trust God and his providence to provide the right opportunities. If you are paying attention, and looking for opportunities, they will arrive. But please don’t do this if you aren’t doing steps 1 and 2!
Different jobs provide different opportunities and ways to share your faith. Tim Tebow has different avenues and different ways he can share his faith than you do, or I do. It is not appropriate for me to pray as I begin my newscast, at least not live on the air. It is not appropriate for me to “sneak Jesus,” into my stories, as I once heard a Christian reporter say she tries to do. But with the Holy Spirit’s help, there are certainly ways to make my faith known, and share the Gospel with my co-workers.
Tim Tebow has a sphere of influence of millions. I am fortunate enough to have a sphere of thousands. You may only have a sphere of influence of dozens, or ones. That’s fine. God has given you an opportunity to glorify him through your work, in the same way he’s given Tebow that opportunity. Take it. Use it. Glorify him.

Comments

  1. says

    I want to comment on #3 ” Look for appropriate times and places to share your faith.” I think this is an important point.

    I am a bi-vocational pastor. I have been in the plumbing wholesale industry in sales for 21 years. I was called into the ministry 5 years ago and have served as a bi-vo pastor since July of 2010. I am careful to seperate my two careers. I try not to be a preacher at my plumbing sales job and I don’t sell plumbing at my church job. However, most of my co-workers at my sales job know I am a pastor. I am not “preaching” to them all the time, but God has provided numerous opportunities for me to share my faith and even pray with some of my co-workers. It’s not uncommon for them to come to me and bring prayer requests, and I was blessed to give the invocation at our Christmas party this year.

    You don’t have to beat people over the head with your faith, and you don’t have to completely conceal that faith either. It’s about walking that fine line. I try to let the light of Christ shine through my work ethic and how I deal with co-workers and customers. Yeah, there is usually a Bible on my desk (I do alot of sermon prep on my lunch hours and keep my current study material with me) but I don’t walk around spouting Bible verses.

    I believe God will set up divine appointments for us if we make ourselves available to him. I am proud to be a bi-vo pastor because I have an understanding from both sides of the pulpit and it really helps me in my ministry.

    Randy

    • cb scott says

      Randy,

      I agree with you in stating: “I believe God will set up divine appointments for us if we make ourselves available to him.”

      I also believe that is exactly what God has done with Tim Tebow.

      I believe God has set up a divine appointment at this time in his life…..A really big one.

      I am praying that he continues to fulfill it and that he does not get caught in the “snare of the Trapper” as have so many before him. That is my prayer for Timmy Tebow and I trust it is for many others also. We must pray that he stands true to Jesus and the faith in all things.

      • cb scott says

        BTW,

        God did the same thing with Timmy’s Daddy, Bob. He gave Bob a really big divine appointment in the Philippines.

        God has given many, many of His children really big divine appointments. It is nothing new. Timmy’s just happens to be in the arena of Pro-Football and that is a very public arena and obviously a very rough appointment in some ways.

        He is a missionary just like his Daddy and Momma before him. He does not receive or need Annie Armstrong or Lottie Moon support, but he is a missionary nonetheless and we need to pray that He follows God and does not fall. Because I promise you, Satan’s gang of minions is following him closely to see that he does fall.

        Tebow is far more hated in hell’s administrative headquarters than he is the world of Pro-Football sports writers, press box commentators and worn-out old former QBs (Boomer Esiason) who were never that good in the first place.

        • says

          Can’t you imagine it – down in Hell’s post office is a big old poster of Tebow: MOST WANTED. BIG REWARD!

          We should be lifting him up in prayer instead of tearing him down. I’m with you CB.

          Randy

          • cb scott says

            Randy,

            I bet they were kinda upset in hell’s admin. office when a certain atheist was snatched away from them also. :-)

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