He sat across from me with hallow eyes and tears tattooed on his cheek. To say that he looked tough was an understatement. If I’m honest, to this small town Iowa girl, being alone in my office with him was a bit intimidating, and, well, scary. He shared his story and his rap sheet, including murder. I maintained my professionalism, nodded, smiled and encouraged him. In my mind I clicked through a list of reasons that we absolutely couldn’t hire him. As the interview finished, I stood up and was started to thank him and tell him we’d be in touch. And then, in mySpirit, I heard this: “how are you going to be Jesus to him?” I knew in that moment that we would hire him, and that I would do my best to be Jesus to him, even though from a practical standpoint, it was a risk.
What does the “handbook” tell us?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
So how do we “be Christian” at the office? On the production line? Flipping burgers at McDonalds? Wherever we are, the bible gives us clear direction. If we live by the Spirit, we live by the fruit of the Spirit. If we live by the fruit of the Spirit, then we are “being” Christian. And the Bible is right – against such things there is no law!
Ultimately, it’s not about carrying a bible or wearing crosses that make us Christian. That’s not what Jesus showed us, that’s what we have decided makes us Christian. Jesus example to us was pure spiritual fruit. How we interact, how we relate and who we are to people in every aspect of our life impact others. Allow the Holy Spirit to live in you, spend time fostering a relationship with the triune God, and the fruit of the Spirit will be what others see. Over the next several weeks, we’ll discuss some ways each of these “fruits” can look in our workplace.
Back to “him. ” I’d love to tell you that all went well. I can’t. I also can’t tell you that it was easy. What I can tell you is that I was able to have more than one conversation about Jesus with him. You see, I was different to him, and he wanted to know more about faith. Even when he was being rude and obstinate, I was tough, but showed love and patience. At his request, I shared Jesus with him and processed some hard questions. Today, “he” is incarcerated, likely for life. And even though he has made some poor choices, I know he knows truth.
What if I had played it safe; put on my professional “don’t go there” attitude because it was uncomfortable? What if I decided that he was too scary for me to spend time with? Certainly no one would have judged me for not “going” there with him. What if?
So how about you? How do you do at “being” Christian? What does living by the fruit of the Spirit look like in your world and where could you make some adjustments?