Friday, May 29, 2009

Sabotaging Our Faith Pt. 2

In last week’s column, I wrote about seven things that the Christian can learn from the article Seven Career Killers, by Erin Burt, with The author’s focus is on subtle ways to sabotage a career. The purpose of my column is to show that we can sabotage our Christian lives with some of the same problems.

Previously, I covered the first four, which are procrastinating, having a sense of entitlement, settling into your job description, and avoiding office politics. This week, we will cover the remaining three. The words from the original career article by Erin Burt with are in italics.

5. Not being a team player. Getting stuck with this label is one of the fastest career killers. While there are times that all of us would love to take a vow of silence and join a monastery, that is not the way God intended for us to live. There is ample evidence in the Bible, that God expects us to join together as believers. In that joining together, we are also to get along. Remember, that it wasn’t until the disciples were in “one accord” in the upper room, that the Holy Spirit descended. Likewise, unless we as Christians can “play nicely together”, we will never know the true awesome power of God. (1 Corinthians 12, Titus 2)

6. Not dressing the part. In an ideal world, you would be judged by your merits alone. However, we live in a visual society. How you present yourself can play a crucial role in the progress of your career. You want to look professional and in control, not sloppy and indifferent. How do we look to the world? In a recent sermon, I referenced a study which polled 1,402 adults who had not attended a religious service at a church, synagogue or mosque in the previous six months. The study, that was done by Lifeway Research, found that 72% of those surveyed, think the church is full of hypocrites. The people outside the church see the way Christians treat each other. They see the outward image that we sometimes portray, and they want no part of it. Paul refers to the “armor” that we should put on three times in his letters. In fact, the things he mentions in Ephesians 6 are exactly what we should wear each day. (Romans 13:12, 2 Corinthians 6:7, and Ephesians 6:10-19)

7. Failing to network. You've heard that networking can be a good tool to help you find a job, but maintaining your contacts after you're hired is critical to the continuing success of your career. It is possible to be a Christian without serving others. However, this is how we as Christians need to behave. We should all be about service. A good way to begin, is to find out what your spiritual gifts are, and then plug in to some ministry in your church. If there is not a ministry already in place that you see a need for and feel a passion towards, then speak with someone about starting it. There are many ways that we as Christians can serve one another. God does not call us to be saved and then sit down and wait on the second coming of Christ. He calls us to be “plugged in” to our church or our community of believers. (Matthew 10:32-33 & 18:20, 1 John 1:7, Hebrews 10:24-26)

There you have it, seven things that will sabotage your Christian walk. Know that it is not an exhaustive list. However, it is a good place to start examining how we conduct ourselves as children of God. My prayer is that we will heed these suggestions and be all that we can be, for the One who died and rose again for us.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

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