The musty scent of the dank prison cell stings his nostrils. His wrists and ankles now bleed where the shackles cut into his raw, filth-ridden skin. Left to rot. A lost cause.
He’s sure he hasn’t eaten for at least a day or maybe more, but somehow, in this moment, he isn’t hungry anymore.
Not a low, woeful song of his sufferings, he is singing a song of praise to God. Praise in prison. His cellmate joins in, and now emboldened by the duet, they both raise their voices louder and louder. There is no need to sing on key, they just want everyone in the prison to know how great is their God.
The vocalist? Paul, the apostle. His back-up singer? Silas. Now the story sounds more familiar, right?
What does this have to do with your co-workers? Everything.
You know this true story of Paul and Silas, and how at midnight, while in prison, they sang and praised God. But back up for a second and remember who Paul was before he became arguably one of the top apostles. He was Saul, persecutor of believers, hell-bent on destroying the early church.
If you conducted a survey in the early church and asked who would be the most unlikely person to become a believer and follower of Jesus, 99.9% of those surveyed would’ve said, Saul, the Pharisee. He didn’t just ignore or ridicule believers, he had them arrested and imprisoned. He traveled from town to town to gather up as many “Jesus Freaks” as he could and lock them up. He had plenty of support for his zealous endeavors as well. Every believer in the early church had probably written off Saul. Saul was a lost cause.
Who have you written off?
No one in a million years would’ve guessed that this man who hated and even consented to the death of these “little Christs”, would become one of them.
Who, in your workplace is the least likely to come to Christ? Who vehemently opposes your beliefs, maybe even goes out of their way to torment you for your faith? Who would you say is a long-shot? A lost cause? Who have you written off?
I wonder who taught Paul (Saul) to praise God in prison? Scripture doesn’t say, but I can only wonder if Saul (Paul) had heard the same kind of worship session from believers after he locked them up and threw away the key. Paul tried to lock up Christ, but he still couldn’t get away from the truth.
Your co-worker can’t get away from the truth as long as you’re around. Which is why they often try to get rid of you, or at least trip you up, or get you in trouble with HR.
Maybe that “lost cause” is the person that God is still calling out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. Maybe that co-worker you have written off is the next “Paul”.
[Tweet “Don’t write off your co-worker, God hasn’t written them off. “]
Who have you quit praying for?
No one was praying for Saul to get saved. At least, not that we are aware of. They were all busy trying to avoid him. In fact, after Paul’s blinding conversion, Ananias is sent to pray for his healing, but only agrees to go after God tells him that Saul will suffer for him.
“Suffer, you say? Okay, then I’ll go pray for him, but only if he’s really going to suffer big time!”
Who have you quit praying for in your workplace? The office bully? Your bad boss? Your corrupt sales person? Who would you rather see get a dose of God’s wrath instead of His mercy? That’s the one to start praying for again. That’s the one that God wants to send you to to bring healing to their dirty soul.
Who avoids you?
After his conversion, Paul avoided the the believers in Jerusalem, the main hub of Christianity at the time, the Church. He went off to the desert for three years to have his mind renewed. He wasn’t running from God, but he didn’t feel comfortable going to Church quite yet.
Is there someone like that in your office? Maybe they have professed to be a believer, but don’t live like it. Maybe they haven’t written off God, but they aren’t ready to be “all-in” yet. Maybe they avoid you because they feel the sting of conviction. Maybe they avoid you because they are afraid of surrender. Maybe they feel like a lost cause because they know to do right but aren’t doing it. Maybe you look at them as a lost cause too.
Hopefully no one is avoiding you because you are one of those annoying, in your face, quoting scripture and Jesus-juking everyone. (Check your heart if that one stung you.)
Whatever their reason for the avoidance, don’t write them off. They are one that the Father sees and runs to them while they are still a long way off. God is excited to see them coming, are you?
This is not a scathing condemnation, but rather a wake up call to all of us believers in the marketplace today.
[Tweet “It’s time for us to start viewing those in our workplace the way God views them.”]
God loves each and every person in your workplace.
God has not written off anyone you work with.
God doesn’t think anyone in your office is a lost cause.
Are you ready to be a part of someones redemption story like Ananias in Paul’s?
Are you ready to sing praises in the captivity of your Christ-hostile workplace?
Are you ready to love on and pray for those you work with everyday?