Living Out Your Faith in the Workplace: Balancing Boldness and Respect

Show Notes

In this episode of Faithful Fridays, Johnny reflects on his conversation with Ralph Estep Jr. about expressing faith in the workplace. He emphasizes that being a Christian isn’t limited to certain parts of life but should be integrated into all areas, including work. Johnny discusses the challenges of openly living out faith in today’s politically correct environment and shares biblical principles to guide Christians in their professional lives. He encourages listeners to be respectful yet firm in their beliefs, using their actions as a testimony to God’s light in a dark world.

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00:00 – Introduction
02:37 – The Importance of Consistent Faith
05:06 – Living Quietly and Minding Your Affairs
07:30 – Avoiding Workplace Drama
09:56 – Standing Firm on Biblical Principles
12:18 – The Impact of Standing Up
14:41 – Using Opportunities to Witness
16:30 – Offering Support and Resources

TRANSCRIPT:

Johnny Sanders (00:00)

Hello and welcome back to another Faithful Friday here at Faithfully Engaged. Hope you all have had a wonderful week so far. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about some of the discussion I had on Monday with Ralph Estep Jr. He’s an accountant. We talked about some financial things and had all sorts of just interesting conversations in that discussion we had on Monday. But I want to take one aspect that we discussed and go a little bit deeper into it.

Look at some Scripture to support that. So some of our discussion centered around being a Christian, and being open about your faith in the workplace. Now, some of you may know for me, this is part of why I started this podcast and also why I started my own Christian counseling practice, Truth and Grace Counseling. I’m repping my shirt today with that. But I started that so I could do counseling and talk about my faith, 

unashamedly and to have clients that wanted to use their faith, use Christianity in the counseling process. And then also through Faithfully Engaged, just have a podcast centered around Christian ideals and then also just some conservative values and try to speak to that specific audience. So my answer to kind of be more open about my faith in the workplace is I made my own workplace. Now, I’m not saying that’s what…

you have to do or the majority of you have to do. Many people can serve in just a normal old job and still be open about their faith. So let’s talk a little bit about why that’s important, to live out your faith. And one of the things that Christians just believe is that we don’t have a Christian part of our life. It’s not that I go to church and that’s my Christian piece.

I’m at home and then I’m just a dad or a husband or wife, mom, whatever, and then I go to my workplace and I’m a plumber or electrician or office worker, whatever you are and then I go to church and then I’m a Christian. No, a Christian believes that we are Christian throughout all of it. This is God’s world. We are God’s people and he needs to use us in all aspects of our lives. Now at

Johnny Sanders (02:37)

home. Certainly there’s, there can be a lot of struggles there too, where we kind of shut, shut the Christianity off when we get home. But it’s a little bit easier to do that at home. It’s kind of your house, your rules, right? So a little bit easier there. Certainly easier at church to be a little more Christian. Sometimes, in fact, people can take that and be maybe kind of performative and put on a show at church. But regardless, a little bit easier to play out your faith there. It’s when it comes to work that

becomes a little trickier, especially in today’s culture of kind of political correctness and everything. And I’m sure some of you have worked at a place where with a pretty aggressive human resource department that may really put some pressure to, not talk about religion or politics, right? That makes everybody upset. So it puts us in a little bit of a difficult spot. And then obviously we, especially, the men out there who are providers.

Like for myself my wife is a stay-at-home mom and I know that’s not true for all of you listening to this But I take providing for my family really seriously that’s a really big deal. So You don’t want to lose your job or have your family go hungry because you got fired that’s a good thing to have that concern and to want to do a good job, So try to lay some of these potential pitfalls out there for somebody

that is struggling to show their faith at work. But let’s get into the scripture a little bit about some ways, some maybe some principles here that we can apply into the workplaces to show our faith a little bit better. Let’s start with 1 Thessalonians 4:11 through 12. This reads as follows, “ and to aspire to live quietly and to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands as we instructed you so that you may walk

Properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” So I’m taking a really small snapshot of this There’s a whole lot more context we can get into with that passage But with this “to aspire to live quietly and mind your own affairs” This really is important to make sure that when you are living out your faith that it’s not about you, right? like sometimes you can be the

Johnny Sanders (05:06)

Like, or better term, the Bible thumper, like I’m throwing, throwing tracts at you all the time, throwing the Bible at you all the time. and there’s a time and place for that. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think all tracts are bad. And I think sharing your faith at work is good, but what’s your motivation there? Are you minding your own affairs? Are you getting your, are you getting your job done? Are you doing your work? Work with your hands. “walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”

Don’t try to live in a way that you’re just trying to prove yourself. Be authentic. Do your work well and stay in your lane a little bit. The thing is here, you’re not the main character of God’s story, right? Like it’s an honor to be a part of his work in any type of way, but we’re not the main character, God is. So do your role well. Don’t try to cause big scenes and things like that.

Just go about your business and live your life well. Now, does this mean, like I said, that you can’t share your faith? Absolutely not. You absolutely can. But how is that coming authentically? Do you have a coworker that maybe you spend a lot of time with or a boss that you have a connection with? Are these things coming in a very authentic, loving type of manner? Then yeah, do that. And there’s going to be times that you have to take…

little bit of a calculated risk there of how it’s going to be perceived. But that’s different than me causing this big scene and saying you guys are all terrible and just hiding behind how wonderful I am. That’s brash. That’s not what we need to do. So mind your own affairs well. But the thing is, when you’re loving to those around you, like they may be naturally curious about what you have going on.

about why you behave a little bit differently, why you do your job a little bit better. Make that your focus and allow these opportunities to come naturally. We don’t have to force things. You’re not the main character here. Let God flow through you. You don’t have to force it. Another thing that’s going to be really important here is Philippians 2:14 through 15, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent children of God.”

Johnny Sanders (07:30)

without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shine as lights in the world. Now, this is huge. I guarantee you, you’ve been a part of some work environment where there’s some kind of drama going on. So-and-so is mad at so-and-so or whatever it may be. Have nothing to do with that. Don’t be involved. You don’t have to be rude about it, but it could be simply, Hey, I don’t want to get involved in this.

I’m going to stick to doing my job well. Don’t be blemished. Don’t get caught into just all the junk, all the office politics and stuff that just goes on. You don’t have to be a part of that. Do your job well. That’s going to be a huge piece of your of your witness. Are you doing your job well? Or are you on your phone just kind of not paying attention most of the time? Do your job well. Really be focused on that.

Don’t be caught up in just all the nonsense that gets brought into that, into the workplace there. And I’m also going to mention this too. This is, this is not new. This has been a part of the human condition for a long time, but right now in our culture, talking about the midst of a crooked and twisted generation. Now this is written a long time ago. but doesn’t that hold true today? We’re in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.

And this is something that maybe is, might be a little more unique for this timeframe in our lives. Let’s take a conversation I had with, Pamela Garfield Yeager a while back. Your workplace requires you to put pronouns in your email signature. You have to do some DEI training or something like that. You don’t have to be a part of that.

Now there’s a strategy to this again, just like in that first example, we don’t have to talk about how terrible you all are and how great I am. I’ll make a big scene. It can just be a really simple, polite, but firm- No, I’m not going to do this. And here’s why I’m not going to put pronouns in my bio- because God made us male and female. He didn’t make mistakes there. This goes against my faith to

Johnny Sanders (09:56)

acknowledge pronouns like that. That’s not something I want to be a part of. It’s endorsing confusion in this culture that we simply don’t need. You can just say no. And could you face some repercussions for that? You could. I’m not going to say that there’s zero chance that you would face repercussions. But the fact of the matter is one of the biggest issues Christians and just conservatives in general have is just playing along.

If you politely stand up, and say no, a couple of things are going to happen. One, people are going to notice. The bad is going to notice people are going to be upset with you. You’re going to offend somebody. Like that, that will happen. I can basically guarantee that. But what I can also guarantee is that people are going to notice in the positive. You might have somebody reach out to you afterward with Hey, thanks for, thanks for saying that. I didn’t want to put pronouns in my email signature, but I didn’t know how to say no.

I thought that training was crazy too, but I don’t really know what to do with it. Thanks for standing up. You’re going to get allies with you. And the other thing is, look, these beliefs, kind of the DEI quote “woke” term or principles out there, they’re not really popular. Like they get spread around, but when people sit and think about it, like it’s, it’s kind of silly. It’s kind of a silly thing.

We know that you’re a woman, you’re a man or whatever. Why do I need to know your pronouns? I got it. it is all kind of silly. And when we actually evaluate that somebody stands up, you’re going to get more people on your side. And the fact of the matter is, as I said, I can’t guarantee that you won’t get in trouble, but if you do in a very firm and respectful way, kind of goes back to living quietly and minding your affairs, you have to do it respectfully, especially if you’re

standing up to a boss or something like that. While I can’t guarantee you won’t get in trouble, I do think the risks are overblown. The risk is that I am guaranteed to lose my job if I stand up. I think that risk is overblown in most cases. As long as you stand up respectfully. If people already know your belief system beforehand,

Johnny Sanders (12:18)

you have just as good, if not a higher chance of people respecting you more than you losing your job. So just keep that in mind, that that is a huge place, a huge way to stand up for your faith. And it affects people, affects a lot of people. Maybe we can get some of these silly types of requirements at your job or whatever. Maybe they get loosened or taken down. We are seeing some different companies right now.

loosening or getting rid of DEI type of departments at the workplace because it doesn’t work and it’s not very it’s not a very popular system so you could be a part of that process just again remember we’re not doing it in a grumbling way we’re not doing it in an aggressive spiteful type of way but we are doing it in a firm way and when you do that firm and people respect that guess what they’re gonna be able to ask it like

How were you able to have the courage to do that? Weren’t you scared? What a great witnessing opportunity that I serve a God that’s much bigger than me. And when I’m asked to do something in the workplace that just goes against my beliefs, it’s not that hard of a decision because I serve God over man. And that opens up the door to all sorts of witnessing opportunities. So be able to look at some of the nonsense that’s in the workplace.

which I get it. It’s annoying. It’s not what you want to do. I totally understand that. But instead of looking at it as this massive hindrance, look at it as an opportunity. This, like I’m telling you, the culture we live in right now is how you get beacons of light for people who have similar values. See this all the time with conservative counselors. They say something on Twitter or something like, they’re conservative or at least not buying some of the nonsense in the counseling field. I want to talk to them.

that’s how I found Pamela Garfield Yeager who I had on the show not too long ago. Truth is just a beacon of light in the darkness. So it is attractive. Use these as opportunities, not for your own gain, but to spread the good news of Christ. This world is dark. It’s sinful and people need the light, not of you. They need the light of Christ. So use these situations as opportunities to

Johnny Sanders (14:41)

Gain some respect to shine light in a dark work environment instead of just grumbling and complaining. You could go into the workroom and talk about how stupid it was. You can do that. But is it helping or is it standing firm in a respectful manner for truth and then going about my business, living my life quietly, sticking in my lane, working the best of my abilities? You’re going to have a whole lot more favor than if you’re just…

Spread nonsense, talking bad about everybody. Your words not gonna matter much. But if I stay firm and I just simply say, hey, sorry, I can’t do this. This goes against my faith. I’m telling you, you have a massive leg up to take down some of this ideology in your workplace and to spread truth, spread love in your workplace. So work on yourself, don’t wait.

for the workplace to start getting better and to just strike these things in the workplace, you do something about it first and know above all, maybe even if you do get fired, know that we serve a God that is bigger than you, it’s bigger than your job. And when you serve him over a man, you’re in the right place. If you’re in a job right now and you’re like, well, I don’t know what to do. Hey, that all sounds great, Johnny, but how does this even go?

Maybe you’re struggling to find a church. Maybe your church is spreading some of this kind of woke ideology, DEI type of stuff. And you’re like, I don’t want to be a part of this. Feel free to reach out to me. I do offer consultation services for these reasons to help you get active in your life, and to show your values in your everyday life. I want to help point you in the right direction and get you in a spot where you’re stable and actively living out your faith. If you’re interested in that.

Go to faithfullyengaged.com, and give me a shout-out there on the contact form. Otherwise, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll catch you again on Monday.