Encouragement From The Word

Taking Jesus to work (or, Learning from U2)

Among my friends on Facebook, I felt like I was in the minority this week:  I did not attend the U2 concert on either Wednesday or Thursday at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.  Other things got in the way.

U2 is seen as one of the most popular bands of our time, and (among many) as one of the best bands of all time.  This is a remarkable thing, when you think about it, because U2 is known for greater depth in its lyrics than its main rivals for “best band of all time”, like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.

In fact, there are both covert and overt biblical references in the songs of U2.  They wouldn’t call themselves a “Christian” band, but the depth that reaches into the hearts of their many fans has quite a lot of Scripture in its words.  I won’t furnish you with examples; if you type “U2 Christian lyrics” into a search engine, you’ll see what I mean.

This got me thinking:  there are far too many Christians in our world who think it’s the responsibility of the “religious professional” to exude God-honouring depth in life.  But that’s not what God intended for his people.  The Bible doesn’t advise the faithful, “Go, hire somebody, send him away for three years to get a master’s degree, and let him tell you all about what it means to be holy.”  No!  What does the Word say?  “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.  For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1.15-16, NLT, referring to Leviticus 19.2).

It is possible for a “secular” band to share God-honouring lyrics.  It is possible for someone in a “secular” job to live out God’s love to others.  In fact, it’s not just possible:  it’s expected.  I’m always encouraged, as I was this week, when I hear a story from someone who works in a completely irreligious (maybe even anti-religious!) workplace and is invited to have a faith-based conversation with a fellow worker.  This is awesome stuff!

Whatever you work at, you can leverage influence for Jesus in that context.  It starts with doing your job well, because you’re seeking to honour God.  Work as if you’re working for him (see Colossians 3.22-24).  When people see your consistent ethic, that will open doors for Jesus to come to work with you.

And that’s how the Kingdom grows.  One conversation at a time!