Marketplace Devotion 2016/07/24

Good news during office hours

Ephesians 4:29, the Message

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift(Ephesians 4:29, the Message)

Do your words in the office make people feel respected? Do you interact with others in a way that honors Jesus? In business settings, there aren’t many opportunities to quote scripture and preach the gospel. And it’s often inappropriate. After all, you get paid to work and contribute to the bottom line. Customers meet you to have their problems solved, not to enter a discourse on faith. So if the work environment is not conducive to talking about religion, how does one honor Jesus?

The answer: seize every opportunity to speak uplifting words that comfort and encourage others. Tell the truth so that people get honest feedback. In today’s marketplace, a gracious word at the right time is like a heavenly breeze. In itself, it’s good news! On the other hand, clean up your language. No more trash talk and dirty jokes. Cut the gossip, slanderous remarks, complaints, half-truths, curses and all forms of condemnation.

Pay attention to your conversations during lunch and coffee breaks. You can’t control what others say and how they say it. But you are responsible for the words that come out of your mouth. Jesus tells us that it’s out of the abundance of the heart that a person speaks (Luke 6:45).  Therefore, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart. That’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.” (Proverbs 4:23-24)

Practice:

  1. Review the atmosphere in your workplace. When there’s anger or rage directed at you, what’s your response?
  2. How do you interact with people at work? Are you prepared to change the tone of an office conversation? From despair and cynicism to hope? From judgment to affirmation?
  3. Instead of saying, “I cannot change,” ask yourself, “Do I want change?” Do you want to ask our Father to help you? Make the following scriptures your prayer:
    1. “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.” (Ephesians 4:29)
    2. “Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.” (Romans 12: 14)
  4. Continue to journal and record your prayer experiences.

Prayer:

Father, whenever the climate heats up in my workplace, when people start exchanging verbal blows, set a guard over my mouth. Let peace enter my heart so that I may bless people, and not curse them. Amen.”