Witnessing, no matter when—where—why—how, is very hard work! To do it right you must: be humble; be knowledgeable in the scriptures; and do it boldly, all for the honor and glory of God. Hopefully, we try to witness at all times and in all places, for we are on a pilgrim’s journey for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When we are at home or church, witnessing seems to be a rather natural thing to do. If we are amongst unbelievers or “weak Christians,” witnessing is not so popular and seems rather difficult to do. We must take courage and remember, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (I Peter 3:14). How we witness to a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and how we witness to others may differ quite a bit. A believer knows the “law of God,” but an unbeliever is a “law unto himself.” When witnessing to unbelievers, we must “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15).
Many of you young people have a job or had a job where you are or were required to work alongside an unbeliever or “weak Christian.” Maybe you became quite close to one of these people and did things together than were non-work related. Well, how did you deal with it? Did you go along with the rest of the world or were you “reproached for the name of Christ”? An unbeliever will not stand back and listen to what a believer has to say. “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us: he that is not of God heareth not us” (I John 4:5, 6). The world will see us both through words and deeds. If we are not reproached, then we are not witnessing. This reproach may come in subtle ways such as: not being included in outside events; or them being sure to point out our shortcomings. More obvious ways for someone to reproach us when we witness are as follows: mockery or sarcasm; ignoring us; anger or hostility; and purposely blaspheming our Lord. The world hates the godly and wants you and me to join in on their mockery of God’s righteousness.
How do you go about witnessing in an atmosphere such as the work environment where our Lord’s name is seldom used, other than in vain? Do you merely exist in your own little world and ignore the testimony displayed by the unbeliever? Maybe you tell yourself that you can witness by your deeds and that it doesn’t do any good to “cast pearls before swine.” Well, if you don’t say anything, that unbeliever may not even know you hate that ungodly testimony that he displays. (Maybe you even smile a little when that person smiles at you while bearing his ungodly testimony). Never let anyone think you approve of or don’t care about their sin. Always be up front with your co-workers. Let them know you are one of God’s children and that you seek to glorify Him alone. Once they know how you feel there is no need to squirm every time you witness their ungodly behavior. However, don’t forget to remind them you are a Christian by your daily walk and talk. There are always new situations that arise, where you have to give the Christian point of view. Also, remember “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
It is so true that most of us do not witness nearly enough, but when we do witness let us be careful how we do it. Our witness is the confession of our faith given to us by the Holy Spirit. The inworking of the Holy Spirit comes through faithful Bible reading, prayer, and hearing the true preaching of God’s Word. So be sure you know what God’s Word says and pray about your witness that it will be faithful and God-glorifying. Don’t be Phariseeistic! Never glorify yourself by pointing out the bad in your co-workers and the good in yourself, or how you have the truth and they do not. Use God’s Word faithfully and never waver from it. Do not compromise with the human point of view. There are many who think it is not fair for God to choose His people – “Would a righteous God do such a thing?” (His Word tells us He is righteous and that He does choose His people). “Would a righteous God let an innocent marriage partner suffer?” (Marriage is a picture of Christ and His church and God’s eternal counsel is God-glorifying. We all deserve the “wrath of hell.”) Be sure that you never condemn anyone! Be sure to point out that you are a despicable sinner saved only by the grace of God, and you have been called to be a faithful witness for your Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If your co-worker wants to point out your sin, listen to him and then turn to God’s Word and confess that sin if need be, both to God and your co-worker. Let your co-worker know that everything belongs to God including all honor and all glory!
In summary, I would like to give you some suggestions that may help you to be a faithful witness to your co-workers:
- Create the right atmosphere. Be a faithful worker that devotes all this time and effort toward his job during working hours. Spend non-working hours (breaks, lunch, and after work) in a manner that is God-glorifying. Don’t seek after all the worldly pleasures or spend time criticizing others. Do things or talk about things that give you a chance to show the Christian perspective on life.
- Take the first opportunity that comes along to witness. Never deceive a co-worker or hide your Christianity. The longer you wait to witness, the harder it will be and less effective. Your life must be a constant walk with God or your co-worker will ask whether that witness is really sincere—I think we all would!
- Never judge anyone. We are only witnesses for God and above all, miserable sinners! God uses our feeble means to display His truth to others.
- Monitor your Christian attitude. If you do not feel comfortable at work as a Christian or are back-sliding as a Christian, you must do something. Non-Christians may tend to dull your “spiritual senses”—you must constantly be on guard. Look for employment that will best “create the right atmosphere.”
- Above all, earnestly and zealously pray and read your Bibles!