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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 as an 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 toward 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 confessthat 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 nonbelievers: 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 specific place of business?
2. Do you think God can use you to glorify Him 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 even the “pagans [will] glorify God” on the day He returns, as it says in 1 Peter 2:12?

This is an excerpt of Devotional Ventures: 60 Inspiring Devotions by Business Professionals for Business Professionals. Corey Cleek, the author and editor is a friend of the Business as Mission Network and has given us the ability to share some of them with you. Used with permission, all rights reserved. Pick up a copy of the hardback book on amazon, right here.

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posted by Justin Forman | 6.18.2009 - 7:41 AM

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