Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. (Psalm 4:3)
Being in the world and not of it is what we continue to seek, but what does that really look like? It is possible to live side by side with people who don’t value our beliefs, but sometimes we get distracted and can start to blend into the way our non-Christian counterparts behave. Among the several jobs I’ve had in my adult life, I’ve mostly witnessed this temptation while navigating through the entertainment industry as an actress in Hollywood. I’ve fully committed myself to this career, but the fact that I do it with biblical strings attached has literally gotten me laughed at on the set.
Some of you may be entering the workforce for the very first time, picking up a summer job between semesters or going to a 9-to-5 job that you’ve had for the past two years. I’m sure it would be much easier to work for a Christian company that applauds your walk with God, but unfortunately for most of us, that’s just not our current situation. How do you maintain your light and passion and still do what is required of you when you clock in? Before you run for the hills or avoid going to any workplace that doesn’t have a cross posted on the door, I’ll share with you some insider secrets to excelling in any career without lowering your moral standards.
Here are four ways you can stay grounded no matter what environment you find yourself in.
1. Be faithful. I had a temp job a few years ago that I absolutely dreaded going to. By the end of my week with that company, they wanted to hire me full-time. I had to pass on it for several reasons, but do you want to know why I left such a great impression on them? I worked as unto the Lord. Even though you may not jump out of bed excited and ready to put your work clothes on, if you have a genuine compassion for people and a servant’s heart, you will find a reason to put a smile on your face and complete the workday to the glory of God for the season you are there.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)
2. Be prayerful. There are many high-paying acting roles I’ve had to turn down because they simply did not line up with my faith. If you’re getting desperate for funds, it could be tempting to fill out any job application you can get your hands on. Be prayerful when job-searching and make sure your acceptance of a job is what God is telling you to do, not because you’re afraid of the dollar amount on your bank statement. Believe me, I’ve been there, too, and God has always provided another way.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)
3. Be trustworthy. One of the quickest ways to be seen as insincere is to engage in gossip. This is almost impossible to avoid being around, but you don’t have to participate in the latest juicy news about a coworker. You can politely walk away or try to change the subject of conversation to a more positive one.
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. (Proverbs 20:19)
4. Be joyful. There are so many things to complain about on any given day, but do as the Word says and get your task done without it. There was an employer who hired me for many acting gigs, and he finally told me why after months of working together. He said, “I like hiring you because you’re reliable, good at what you do and you don’t COMPLAIN.” It turns out that complaining (or not) has a great impact on how your employer sees you. Do you want your summer internship to turn into a full-time job? Would you like your supervisor to give you the promotion you’ve been wanting? This may be a key to getting there.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing. (Philippians 2:14)
Is there anything that you think should be added to this list? How do you handle being a Christian in a non-Christian working world?