Working Beyond the Ordinary

             During a recent phone conversation a person humbly told me that he had received a very good evaluation for his job performance. But at the same time he admitted that what he had done was not beyond the ordinary, and that most anyone, Christian or non-Christian, was capable of the same evaluation. He then confessed that he realized that in God’s eyes there is a different evaluation, which he didn’t do so well at. Why? He went on to say that during the challenging times at work, when things were festering with negative attitudes, he would join right in with the pessimisms and complaining, yet still do his job skillfully and well. He came to the understanding that doing a good job, while at the same time complaining and even slandering, was a contradiction to what he believed about God and his workplace (Philippians 2:13-14).

You see, if our faith could simply be explained in ordinary terms, like human evaluations or man-made achievements, then it offers little or nothing more to people than what they can do themselves. However, the exceptional quality of the Christian faith while on the job becomes evident in the tough times when things are abnormal and out of our control. Certainly, we can thank God for the ordinary routines of life and work. But Christians are called to do more than just the ordinary routine of the job (John 6:28-29). Your co-workers and the passengers you serve should see in your attitude and actions that something bigger compels you than company or union incentive. They may not know who it is, but your life will testify of God when you are willing to act in faith and go beyond the ordinary. It could mean … going the extra mile, beyond what is expected of you. Or maybe it will mean your choosing not to return to people in the same ways they have treated you, but instead to bless them and pray for them.

We must not forget that the Christian life is an extraordinary work of God manifested through ordinary people in the details of life. In our workplace, faith in God means more than just going to work and doing a good job for the sake of human recognition. God is calling us there to display our trust in Him and to show through His peace and strength the right response and actions that are beyond our own human abilities. We will not experience God’s provisions in our workplace personally, until we are willing to come to Him in the midst of the turmoil of work and discover His resources. God desires to show Himself in the ordinary details of our work by the extraordinary way He works in and through us to influence the people and circumstances around us.

How about you? Does your faith in God in the workplace compel you to live and work beyond the ordinary? Certainly our performing the ordinary responsibilities of life, in regard to family, work, and church, brings glory to God. However, it is when difficulties enter these responsibilities that we discover our calling to show the extraordinary work of God in and through us. This makes our job more than just an achievement. Instead, it makes it a calling from our Creator and Lord. (PMC)