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Acknowledging Faith in the Workplace - Jon Venverloh of Google

By Jon Venverloh - Strategic Partnerships, Google Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32

In many areas of the country, and particularly the San Francisco bay area that I call home, the culture of political correctness and multiculturalism frowns on any favorable mention of the God of the Bible.

Submitting to God and the decrees of His Word are contrary to the prevailing secular humanist mind-set in which the individual is esteemed above all and God is perceived as a fairy tale or “opiate for the masses.” In the workplace, reliance on God is often seen as irrational, non-intellectual and perhaps even irresponsible.

Google, my employer, has its origin in academia and retains incredibly bright, high-performance people. A lot of brilliant minds are hard at work in the “Googleplex” where the culture is dominated by computer science and where scientifically observable proof is highly valued. For many, this culture leaves no room for matters of faith.

Of course, Google is not unusual among Silicon Valley tech companies. Many workplace cultures are ambivalent and even hostile towards religion in general and Christianity in particular. So as a Christian, I pray and ask God regularly how I can best honor Him in the workplace. But I must confess that I have often feared that my faith will perhaps alienate my peers and superiors.
What does God want from us in the workplace? As in other contexts, He calls us out of the mainstream to a different standard—one of holiness:

Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Jesus promises to bless us if we honor Him publicly with our words and actions:

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven (Matthew 10:32).

Finally, His Word calls us to exemplify integrity to non-believers: Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us (1 Peter 2:12).

I believe God wants to bless those who believe in Him. In the context of the workplace, “blessing” usually means success in our work and perhaps career advancement (though not always, as sometimes He has something different and better in store). Regardless of my specific circumstances at any given time, however, I want God to approve of what I am doing, for if He is with me, who can be against me?

I want to honor the Lord in my workplace, being faithful to and honoring my employer through exceptional performance. I want to glorify the Lord through sanctioned forums such as a workplace Bible study or lunchtime fellowship meetings.

It is my prayer that the Lord will show me opportunities each day to share with my coworkers that I believe God is to be thanked for the abundant life we all lead. For the Lord truly can bless the work of our hands and let our words and actions glorify Him, not just at home or at church, but also at work.

Point to Ponder

Our faith will be tested when we seek to give glory to God instead of to ourselves in the workplace.

Questions to Consider

1. What can you do today to glorify God at your speicific place of business?
2. Do you think God can use you to glorify Himself even in a place where talking about what God has done in your life might feel uncomfortable?

3. Do you think you can live in such a way that the “pagans glorify God” on the day He returns, as it says in 1 Peter 2:12?

From Devotional Ventures, © 2007 by Corey CleekPublished by Regal Books. Used by permission. Allrights reserved.

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posted by Justin Forman | 6.11.2009 - 5:51 AM


I received multiple reprimands at UBS for engaging matters of faith with my colleagues. So I think that you're right that we'll face challenges.

However, if I'm not mistaken, the gospel calls both individuals and entities into question. How do we do that respectfully and faithfully?
commented by Blogger Graham, 9:35 PM  

There is lights of faith...even at google.

We are everywhere -- if only we would stand up and be counted.

Thank you Jon for your witness!

commented by Blogger Red Letter Believers, 10:07 PM  

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