Mixed Signals --- By: Charles Ligon

I received a call and the caller was upset. She had been yelled at a second time that day by her boss. And, when she explained to me the circumstance, it was for no justifiable reason. In fact, neither occurrence was a very big deal. His correction on both subjects could have been handled in a very matter-of-fact way. I listened intently and proceeded to help her gain her composure. After a few moments, she said this to me, “he yells at people all the time…and, he professes his faith as a Christian”. She said that when he rants about insignificant things, he never apologizes nor seeks to make things right. Sadly, his behavior has severely damaged the testimony of Christ in his life. Too often, Christians profess their faith but live out something entirely different in the workplace . We all struggle with the sin of hypocrisy at some point in time. How others perceive our faith matters greatly!  

Are you someone who struggles with outbursts or anger at work? Do you send mixed signals? Do you proclaim Christ with your lips but exemplify something entirely different with your actions? David Kinnerman, in his book UnChristian, writes that 38% of non-believers claim to have a “bad impression of present day Christianity”. And, according to Kinnerman one of the key reasons is hypocrisy – Christians saying one thing and doing another.  The word hypocrite is taken from an old Greek word that refers to wearing a mask. In Ancient Greece, actors wore masks according to the character they played. Indeed, hypocrites are mask-wearers.

Workplace Challenge: How can we change the world’s perception so that the testimony of Christ in our lives is preserved (and His kingdom is advanced) in the workplace? The first step is critical: we must be honest with ourselves (and others) and admit that we need accountability.  Ask a fellow believer to administer that accountability by pulling us aside when we are damaging our Christian witness. Second, when we fail in our witness at work, we must be willing to say “I’m sorry”. Finally, seek to better understand what it means to follow Christ and then desire to convey that authentically to the world. If you are struggling with your witness at work because of your actions and/or words, employ the steps above. At the same time, don’t forget you are Christ’s ambassador (II Corinthians 5:20), an imitator of God (Ephesians 5:1), an image bearer (Genesis 1:27) and witness (Acts 1:8). How you live your live at work really does matter. Make it count for His Glory!