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People sometimes have difficulty discerning the difference between being in the world and not of the world. I like the example of a boat being in the water but the water not being in the boat. Boats were created to be in the water. That’s where they are most useful. However, if water starts to get into the boat, then you’re in trouble.

Christians were created to be in the world. That’s where we fulfill our purpose. We simply have to guard against the influence of the world that may be contrary to Christianity.

Church researchers have discovered something about born-again Christians that I find troubling. When you first become a Christian, the vast majority of your friends are non-Christians. After a few years, the situation is reversed, and the majority of one’s friends are other Christians.

Don’t misunderstand. It’s good to have Christian friends, but with many Christians, according to research, the pendulum has swung too far to the side of Christians, almost exclusively having other Christians as friends. Thus, they have very limited contact with those who benefit the most by their lives.

One of the most enjoyable messages that I’ve preached over the years has to do with Christians eating with non-Christians. The fact that I thoroughly enjoy eating might have something to do with that. Notice this: Jesus was perceived by others as being a friend of publicans and sinners. He accepted, welcomed, and ate with sinners. (Luke 15:2)

What happens too often is that in the name of Christian fellowship, Christians become introverted and end up excluding the very people from their lives that they need to reach. Most often, this pattern happens innocently enough because it’s enjoyable and comfortable to be around other Christians.

Note the exhortation from the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Corinth. He tells them not to keep company (meaning to sit down to a meal together) with people who are immoral, greedy, swindlers, or idolaters. Paul explains that he’s talking about not associating with other Christians who exhibit that type of conduct, not non-Christians. In other words, Paul is saying we need to associate with the immoral, greedy, swindlers and idolaters.

Most people who work will find themselves surrounded with more than enough of these type of people. Do you work with any unethical, unhappy, immoral non-Christian people? If you do, don’t bemoan the fact and wish that you were surrounded with wonderful Christian people. That will happen soon enough in heaven. For now, be grateful for the daily opportunities to influence your co-workers.

Remember work is the daily invasion of Christian influence your co-workers. Remember work is the daily invasion of Christian influence INTO THE WORLD!

Think about simply praying and blessing your food before you eat at lunch time. I experienced a struggle with this when I was in the lunchroom. Instead of saying a quick prayer and hoping no one would see me, I had to get to the place where I didn’t care who saw me bow my head and say a quality prayer over my food. At one job I had, a friend of mine named Peter had recently been hired. When he prayed over his food, he prayed quietly, but it was much more than “Father bless this food in Jesus name. Amen.” His head was bowed for longer than it took to say a one-sentence prayer. The first time I noticed Peter pray, it go so quiet in the room that you could hear a pin drop. Right then and there, I’m convinced Peter won the respect of his fellow employees.

When we are enthusiastic, diligent workers and are not ashamed of Jesus, those we work with will see us truly being spiritual, not at church, but where it really counts, in day-to-day life.

There may be more reasons to work; yet, simply realize that the reason for working includes much more than just earning money.

Copyright © by Nate Belkstrom Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Nate Belkstrom
Web site: Living Word Church
Pastor Nate Belkstrom graduated from Christ for the Nations Bible College in 1976, and he spent the next six years in the workplace where he experienced a difficult time connecting his work with his Christianity. It was there that his heart was touched to help other Christians in their workplace experience.

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