The Christian Public Servant – “a burnt bridge”

May 11, 2016 – Wednesday

Galatians 6:9 [KJV] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

“Don’t burn your bridges” is an idiom in my country that warns about being caustic or unprofessional with individuals you may need favors from in the future. In earlier years, I didn’t heed that wisdom, and I felt the negative effects of burning a bridge or two. Later, as I became a Christian, I also realized that a burnt bridge hinders my ability to speak into an individual’s life about Christ.

Once when talking to a group of peers, I got the opportunity to present the Gospel and was instantly confronted by someone who knew me much earlier in my Christian walk. He quickly recalled an email where I was not so professional and certainly not so Christian. God gave me the grace to be able, in front of the other men, to confess my fault and ask for forgiveness. I then used that moment as a doorway to show why we all need Christ.

While this situation turned out well, there are others in my professional career where I may never get the opportunity to right the wrong, or to rebuild a burnt bridge. I have to remember, just one flippant word or action taints my reputation as a Christian. Even worse, that one stupid act of ignoring the Gospel and reacting in my flesh taints the reputation of Jesus Christ.

As a Christian public servant, each workday you can impact someone’s life by doing well in being His example. That coworker you dislike may one day be ready to hear the Gospel. The supervisor, who rubs you wrong, may be watching to see how you react to pressure. That citizen, searching for an empathic someone, may forever be changed by how you speak. In due season, blessings come if you do not faint in the face of adversity.

At work today, don’t taint Christ with a burnt bridge. Build and do not burn!

Father, give me wisdom and strength to be Your instrument of love to others. Through Christ, let me speak grace into coworkers just as You speak grace into me. May You receive all the glory for what You work in and through me. In Jesus’ name, I say Amen!!!

Pastor Bill Dudley, MPA
Logistics Manager
U.S. Department of Defense
and Co-Editor, Christian Public Servant
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

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