Earlier this week, a JetBlue flight was forced to make an abrupt landing because one of its engines caught on fire. The cabin filled with thick smoke. The plane violently shuddered to its final landing.
Many of the passengers assumed they were going to die. After emerging from the smoke-filled plane, one passenger tweeted, “I don’t think I’ll be mean to anybody ever again!”
What a picture of salvation!
As Christians, we have all been pulled from the burning wreckage of our lives. In Christ, we are alive and free to never be mean to anyone again. In Christ, we are free to love.
The Need for Christian Love at Work
Paul’s description of love is not only a list of ways that we should love, but a description of the way that Jesus actually loves. It is empowering, encouraging, and liberating to reflect on the depth of Jesus’ love for us.
Jesus poured out his love for us so that we might live in him and show his love to others—even at work. God cares about the work we do and the way we do it.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:11).
As we have explored in previous blogs on 1 Corinthians 13, there is a desperate need for Christian love at work. We are called to bear, believe, hope, and endure all things in the workplace as we love our colleagues.
As one is pulled from the smoking wreckage by Love Personified, it doesn’t make sense that our work lives would be marked by a lack of love. Envy, deceit, and selfishness have no place in the Christian’s life at work. Here are four practical questions to ask ourselves about love at work:
1. Love Bears All Things
The verb “to bear” has two related meanings, “to hold up” and “to cover”—something like a pillar holding up a roof. The pillar holds up the roof and enables it to withstand the wind. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this word picture. He covers and protects us. In a lesser sense, we are also to be pillars for our colleagues.
Given all the difficulties of your workplace, what are some ways you can glorify God by providing a safe refuge for your colleagues?
2. Love Believes All Things
The object of our belief is the Lord Jesus Christ. We trust that he is alive, seated at the right hand of the Father, and interceding for us. This is the transformative truth that allows us to see everything differently. If God is for us who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31)
In what ways does your belief in the risen Christ transform your relationships at work?
3. Love Hopes All Things
We live in an age of cynicism. Cynicism prevents us from having genuine hope in God’s unfolding plan. In our worry and doubt, we can fail to see the glorious things God is doing in our midst.
What are some ways you can help and encourage your colleagues by letting them know that with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26)?
4. Love Endures All Things
The workplace can be a test of patience. Frustrations and anger can lead to sustained bitterness. The Holy Spirit walks beside us and enables us to have peace (shalom) even in the face of trouble.
In what way do you walk beside your colleagues, sharing and helping to carry their burdens?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions!
Editor’s note: Read more about how to have a biblical perspective on work in How Then Should We Work?
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On “Flashback Friday,” we take a look at some of IFWE’s former posts that are worth revisiting. This article was previously published on Sept. 23, 2014.