I think honesty is a quality that many Christians struggle with especially when it comes to the workforce. It is very easy to agree and get excited on Sunday, when the pastor speaks on being a good Christian; yet, it is another thing when you have to do it on Monday morning at work. For instance, we lie to our superiors in order to maintain a good image, we manipulate the numbers in order to receive a promotion, we pretend to be focused on work while we’re actually on social media, and the list goes on. Trust me, I deal with these temptations on a daily basis because there is so much pressure and competition in the workplace; everyone does all it takes to be and stay at the top. And when a Christian enters this type of environment, it is very attractive to go with the flow. At work, for example, I have to report to my upper manager and whenever I make a mistake, I feel so embarrassed to confess my wrong and there’s always the pressure to lie in order to appear ‘good’. The downside to succumbing to these constant pressures is that we give a bad image to the Christian faith (which already carries a poor reputation, Rom 2:24), we side with the devil and give him a foothold in our lives, and we prevent the Lord from performing wonders through us at work. If we desire to walk in communion with God and be pleasing to Him, then we must resist and overcome the temptation to work dishonestly. The question is how do we do it?
Personally, what has been helping me is to study and meditate the Word of God day and night. It is so true what the Lord said to Joshua in chapter 1 verse 8 “this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Studying and meditating the Word of God throughout the day keeps my behavior in check; many times when the pressure mounts to do something dishonest, the Spirit reminds me of a Bible verse I studied in the morning and that brings me back to my senses. The Word of God is a compass that guides us throughout the day. During lunch break, take few minutes to open your Bible app to just read the Word and ponder on it, you will see changes in your attitude as you submit to God’s instructions (James 4:7). So many co-workers strive to climb on others in order to get to the top, but as a Christian, promotion comes from God and not men. Our reverence is unto the Lord who judges everyone. There shouldn’t be a driving force to seek to beat out everyone because our desire to follow Christ. I know, at times, there’s discouragement as we see others succeeding using dishonest means while we are just stagnant, but remember, that it is important to keep our hands and conscience clean before the Lord. God will surely reward us in due time (Galatians 6:9).
This leads me to the second way to overcome the temptation to work dishonestly: Work as unto God not unto men. Colossians 3:22-25,
Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
When I started my new job, I was told to begin everyday at 10 am. Even though, I am the only one present in the office during the morning, I always rush to get to work on time. One may say “why hurry if there’s no one there to monitor your arrival time?” Yet, the reason I do it is because I work for God not for men. That’s what the above passage is saying, we should never perform any act so that we can have a good image in the eyes of men. Many seek to get the approval of their managers to have a raise or promotion, however, this is all vanity before the Lord. Joseph, the son of Jacob, is a good example to follow, as he labored well in the fear of the Lord and consequently, God prospered him and blessed the house of Potiphar. Are we a blessing to our workplace? Can God actually work wonders in our jobs through and because of us? When we work dishonestly, we may please men but God’s grace is not upon us.
Let us strive to honor the Lord in our workplace no matter what. Christianity already carries a poor reputation and let’s not be among those who make it worse. We should never forget that God and the devil always see our dishonest acts. Meditating on the Word is a powerful way to have a constant guide at work and perform every duty as unto the Lord and not unto men. Remember that “he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done” for there is no partiality with God.