The Christian Public Servant – “specks in coworkers’ eyes”

plank in eye2

October 31, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading

Luke 6:42(b) [NASB] You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

Reflection

A close friend recently said that his most frustrating workplace interactions come with fellow Christians. He hears or reads things from them and ponders, “What are they thinking?! Are they acting Christ-like?” He said he knows what he is doing is truly God-inspired and cannot figure out how a Christian could think or act otherwise.

Oh, my!

I told my friend that, while his Christian coworkers may do wrong, he needs to be more Christ-like in his own behavior. He cannot assume only the worst from others and only the best from himself. He reflected on my advice, and he later confessed his frustration with coworkers is largely about himself and not them.

My friend is not alone. Too often, you and I not only see the flaws in others, but we are angry at them for having those flaws – especially when they are brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. Before speaking of their flaws, we must never forget that we are all sinners and are therefore perpetually flawed. Those specks in coworkers’ eyes are in our own eyes, and are usually larger than we think!

At work today, remember this: while your coworkers are flawed, so are you! Before pointing out their specks, try first to work through your own problems. You may find that a better understanding of yourself leads to a more gracious understanding of those around you.

Today at work, remember those specks in coworkers’ eyes aren’t anything like the log in yours.

Prayer

Lord, I ask for forgiveness, for I am a sinner. May I be cognizant of the specks in my own sight when I look upon Your world. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Michael Bednarczuk
Assistant Professor and Chair
Department of Public Administration
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “quietly by the wayside”

Jesus in workplace1

October 30, 2017 – Monday

 

Reading

 

Philippians 1:6, 4:13 [KJV] Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Reflection

 

I was almost overcome by fear the first day I entered the office. Can I really do this job? Yet as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I discovered that not only could I perform my job duties, I could perform them well! My fears fell quietly by the wayside, but I must confess, I had help.

 

My help? I was comforted by the Holy Spirit as He led me to scripture. There I found that Christ is working in all believers, and anything is possible if done through Him. Yes, scripture says you and I can do all things through the strength of Christ!

 

So, my fears fell quietly by the wayside as the Holy Spirit enabled me to prepare and do my job. I’ve come to know that He, not I, performs the work needed in me. I have come to know I’m not on my own in the workplace. I confess, I have help. I am hidden in Christ Jesus, and it is He who stands with me in all tasks I prepare to do.

 

Are you fearful at work? Have an intimidating assignment? Must give an introduction or a speech? Or, are you entering a new office like I did? Remember, Christ Jesus is with you. He offers the grace and strength you need to prepare for the daily work and perform the duties well.

 

As you prepare for the tasks of the day, cast out your fears and leave them quietly by the wayside. Today at work, you, too, have help!

 

Prayer

 

Father, I need Your help in everything I do – especially in my job. Thank you for Your grace and Your strength in preparing me for this workday. Through you, I am ready to enter the office! In Christ Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

           

Sureldie Williams

Administrative Support Staff

Reliance Staffing

Hampton, Virginia USA

 

The Christian Public Servant – “entangled in the affairs”

complaining1

October 27, 2017 – Friday

Reading

2 Timothy 2:4 [NIV] No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

Reflection

A couple of weeks ago, a prison ministry held a two-day event here on Life Row. As I helped the free-world team in the background, one of the ministers decided to bend my ear for the entire two days about everything going wrong in her life. Now, I am a great listener, but my spirit can only take so much. She just got so entangled in the affairs of the day, while I was trying my best to be a soldier for Christ.

Scripture reminds us not to get entangled in the affairs of life. Instead, we need to stay focused on being a soldier for Christ, and to please Him.

Ever work with someone who grumbles constantly? Maybe it’s you? Always complaining “this” is not right or “that” is wrong. Always questioning what “he” is doing or what “she” is not doing. It is enough to break your spirit.

Today at work, don’t ignore that coworker, but find a way to block out all the complaining. You are a soldier for Christ, so stay on constant guard for the enemy and be ever-watchful for that one person who is truly drowning and needs help. You cannot do His work with a broken spirit.

So at work today, do not get entangled in the affairs that come your way – especially the affairs of the coworker next to you. Help those who are entangled get refocused. Let Jesus flow throughout the workday!

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for keeping me focused so I won’t get caught up in the affairs of the day. Amen.

Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
Death Row
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA

The Christian Public Servant – “change as a bad thing”

change1

October 26, 2017 – Thursday

Reading

Hebrews 13:8 [ESV] Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Joshua 1:9 [ESV] Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Reflection

Change. Most people usually look at change as a bad thing. This is especially true in the workplace – given the economy and the chance of a down-size. Reductions-in-force? Relocation? Budget cutbacks? Tampering with the pension? People are afraid of change. With change, things can go from bad to worse before the workday is over.

However, there is good news for Christian public servants like you and me. We know that, despite all the changes going on around us, God will never change. He – and He alone – is constant, and in being constant, He is our Comfort and our Shield. He is our Refuge when the changes at work make us anxious.

So today at work, you may still view change as a bad thing. And just maybe that change is a bad thing. But don’t be frightened. God is standing right there with you and for you.

Be strong and courageous. He is never going to change.

Prayer

Dear Lord, please help me remember that You are constant. Whatever changes take place today, I know you will never change. I will not grow weary but have strength in You. In Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

Samantha Pineiro Graham, M.P.A.
J.D. Candidate
Law School
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “with road rage”

road rage1

October 25, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading

Psalm 121:8 [ASB] The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Genesis 28:15 [NIV] I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go

Reflection

Driving to work, I encountered a driver with road rage. He apparently expected me to move out of his way simply because he pulled in behind me and flashed his headlights. It wasn’t safe for me to change lanes at that moment, so I maintained my position and speed. Apparently, that driver didn’t appreciate my decision and indicated his displeasure (and immaturity) by flashing a hand gesture when he finally passed.

I said a silent prayer and asked God to bless him.

The commute to and from the job is a necessary part of the workday. You are probably prepared to model Christ at work, but are you prepared to model His love in route to work?

In your commute today, know that the Lord is with you and watching over you. He wants you to be courteous, but not unsafe. So, say a prayer for the tailgater, the texter, the email checker, the phoner, the speeder, and the one with road rage. Ask God to watch over them, too.

And who knows. You might just get the opportunity to minister to one of them at work!

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for being with me each day during my passage to and from work. When I move through the rush-hour traffic congestion, keep me safe, as well as the drivers around me. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Samuel Henry, M.A.
Deputy
Training, Readiness and Exercises
United States Transportation Command
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “a gentle and quiet spirit”

Gentle spirit1

October 24, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading

1 Peter 3:4 [NIV] Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Reflection

Over the past couple of years, I have come to depend upon His specific command to be a gentle and quiet spirit. It seems like such a simple command, but my efforts to follow fall short now and then. Because of the nature of my job, there is just a lot of stressful emergencies. But when emergencies occur, and I feel my fight instinct start to kick in, I repeat over and over again: be a gentle and quiet spirit. I am then able to remain in calm control of the situation.

Is your workplace stressful? Are there times of anger, hurt, fear, and even chaos? Does your fight instinct kick in more than you want? Just repeat over and over again, be a gentle and quiet spirit until those other feelings go away.

Today at work, remember to shield yourself with the words of God – for the word of God is the most powerful armor that you have. And your calmness is of great worth in God’s sight.

Prayer

God, in times of stress, when it is so easy to react in an ungodly way, fill me with a gentle and quiet spirit. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Jessica Kay
Senior Operations Supervisor
Emergency Communications and Citizen Services
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “looking for a job”

looking for a job1

October 23, 2017 – Monday

Reading

Proverbs 3 5-6 [NKJV] Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Reflection

Some time ago, a close friend unexpectedly got laid off from her job. Although devastated, she picked herself up and began searching for open positions. In no time, my friend applied to over 20 jobs! Well, she had a few interviews here and there, but nothing that seemed “right” and each one declined to hire her. She just continued looking for a job.

Now, my friend is a Christian. She kept trusting in the Lord – even though she did not understand why she was laid off in the first place, let alone why she could not find a new position. She just kept leaning on the Lord.

And then it happened. Suddenly God opened the right doors, and she received three “right” job offers within one week!!

Are you laid off? Are you looking for a job?

Acknowledge the Lord with all your heart in your search for a new position – even if you don’t understand why certain things are happening to you or around you. God will guide you down the right path.

So today, know God is looking for a job – the right job just for you!

Lean on Him, not yourself.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I trust You with all my heart. Give me courage of faith to acknowledge and praise Your marvelous works throughout this day. I know You will guide my paths. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Phoenecia Hill
Indexing and Enrolling Assistant
Virginia House of Delegates
Richmond, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “a mind to recover”

anger1

October 20, 2017 – Friday

Reading

1 Samuel 30:6 [NIV] David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.

Reflection

It is easy to get distressed in your workplace and even in your ministries – especially when you are following the Lord. Satan uses people to mock, to criticize, to attack. For whatever reasons, others are so bitter in spirit that they, too, want to harm you. This happens in my workplace here on Life Row. Does it happen in your workplace?

Scripture reminds us that David had bad days. Yet David had a mind to recover, but only because he was following the Lord. And so, he encouraged himself in the Lord, and the Lord strengthened him.

The distress you find at work, does it make you lose focus on the Lord? If it does, remember others are watching. Your confusion influences them in a bad way.

Today at work, show others you have a mind to recover from all stress and attacks. Refocus on God. Let Him lead in front, be at your side, and have your back. Take your strength from Him. Keep others stable in showing your faith.

Yes, if you are having a bad day like David, have a mind to recover to the Lord. His strength is your strength!

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. No matter what comes my way today, remind me that I can have a mind to recover if I choose to trust You. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
Death Row (Life Row!)
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA

READING: Titus 3, v 1-2: Remind people to submit to the government and its officials, to obey them, to be ready to do any honorable kind of work, 2 to slander no one, to avoid quarreling, to be friendly, and to behave gently towards everyone. (CJB)

REFLECTION: The past year has been very interesting. I am living and working in Israel which has divisions on so many levels, to include a coalition government. Likewise, since the US elections nearly a year ago, the US is divided in many ways as well. We are Christian Public Servants, working at various functions and levels of government. We are commanded to submit to the government and its officials. We have done this on one level, since we have chosen occupations working in government. Yet, we are seen and judged by others in the workplace by our actions, not necessarily our words. How have you reacted this past year? Are your actions honorable, friendly and your behavior gentle? Or have your actions and behavior caused friction and increased division? Is your faith strong and rooted in God’s way, or are you choosing to go with a plan devised by man? Only one way is God’s way. Which way have you chosen?

PRAYER: Lord, Thank-you for showing us your way. Help us to keep your commandments in our hearts and choose a way that honors you, avoids quarreling, and is friendly towards everyone. Strengthen us in our faith and our endeavors. In Jesus name, Amen.

Andy Scharein
International Armament Cooperation
Department of Defense
Tel Aviv, Israel

Disclaimer: The views presented are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components, or any other US agency.