My new sales assistant’s voice bubbled over the phone. A prospective customer had contacted our company with lots of questions. He said it was near the end of the budget cycle and he had some surplus funding.
I listened while Terra talked him through the product line, promising sample videos, a price list and catalog. She typed like the keyboard was on fire, hit “send” with a flourish and looked up proudly.
“Who was that?” I asked.
When she told me, my marketing antenna twitched. He was from the same region as one of our most aggressive competitors. I pulled up their website and saw what I dreaded: the prospect’s name and organization in a glowing testimonial. He had been sent to pilfer intel about our company and he took liberal advantage of my assistant’s naiveté.
The day — or at least my attitude — was pretty much shot and I hadn’t even finished my first cup of coffee.
Some days, it’s easy to lose touch with Jesus in the workplace. We grab a few moments alone with Him, walk away buoyed; and then, whether we work inside or outside of home, our peace seems to evaporate like steam from a latte. With our job’s constant barrage of demands and decisions, we can forget Who’s in control and allow the events of the day to dictate our thoughts, unhindered and unanchored.
But what if I could remember to keep God’s perspective at the forefront of my mind? How might it affect my attitude, my emotional outlook, even my job performance?
Philippians 4:8 offers a practical prescription for maintaining a godly perspective throughout the workday:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things Philippians 4:8
Notice how many characteristics there are in Paul’s encouragement? That’s right, eight. As in 9-to-5. So the next day, I decided to jump on one of Paul’s thought elevators every hour.
The first hour, I ran my thoughts through a filter of truth, like fresh-squeezed orange juice through a strainer, separating out the seeds of distortion and discontent. Is this situation really as dire as I believe? Or is it merely an obstacle to be overcome?
Next hour: noble. Now that’s not a word you run across often these days. I found it in the quiet dignity of the employee who sanitizes the office twice a day. Her knees hurt, but she cleans without complaint, pausing with a funny story or a kind word for everyone. I saw a noble servant’s heart, having “the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
The exercise became a game of hide-and-seek: where would I find the attribute of the hour? About noon, I struggled to find anything lovely in my stark, industrial workplace. So I looked out the window at a modest bush across the parking lot, flecked with cheerful crimson blossoms that I’d never noticed before. My heart did a little happy dance.
By the end of the day, I had recaptured many negative thoughts and redirected them, setting “my mind on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
Wherever your job takes you, you can transform your place of work into a place of worship as you set your thoughts into the context of God’s Word.
Try the Philippians 9-to-5 challenge and see how God blesses your day!
Lord God, Your Word can be such a practical guide! Thank You for the peace that flows as we focus on Your kingdom and take our thoughts captive in obedience to Christ. Help us to be intentional and creative, turning our workplace into a holy place with thoughts that honor You, blessing all those around us.