Arts & Culture

What Kathie Lee Gifford’s Testimony Teaches Us about Work

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I was reminded of two very important things this week when morning TV show host Kathie Lee Gifford, whose normally humorous and boisterous style was dampened by the passing of her husband Frank Gifford, emotionally shared with her audience the importance of her Christian faith in both her and Frank’s lives.

After thanking viewers for their “outpouring” of love and support, Gifford shared how large a part of his life her husband’s relationship with God had been.

“I want you guys to know something about Frank,” she shared, telling the story of how her husband, who eventually became a successful football player, businessman, and philanthropist, was born into a family struck hard by the Great Depression.

They had nothing, but they had their faith. Every time they moved to a new town, his parents and his siblings would go to church every week as a family, and that kept them together through the darkest times.

“As a young child,” Gifford continued, “Frank asked Jesus into his heart, and that remained with him for the rest of his life.”

“He died in complete peace that every sin was forgiven. He died with the hope that he would be with the Lord, and that we would someday be with him as well.”

“For those today who are feeling hopeless, it might be the answer for you; in fact, I know it’s the answer for you.”

Mrs. Gifford’s televised testimony has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media, impacting millions of people.

In a time where Christians have become increasingly pressured to keep their professional and religious lives very separate, Gifford’s willingness to share her husband’s faith has been characterized by many as courageous, particularly considering the massive platform she has.

It can be an almost discouraging example. “How can I share God’s message, when I don’t have millions of viewers?” I asked myself after watching the heartfelt video.

Over the next two days I was reminded exactly how:

1. I do have a platform.

Everyone does. At your job, church, gym, grocery store, in traffic, in the post office, on the Metro. Every moment has the potential to be a ministry. Think of all the people you interact with on a daily basis. Without saying a word, you can be an example of God’s grace and love.

“Each one of us has tremendous influence,” IFWE contributor Jenni Catron reminded us this week. “You were made to influence the world in a way that no one else can. “

2. Your vocation is good.

You may be a TV host, write articles read by thousands, or you might serve coffee while you search for your soul work, but either way your work has intrinsic value outside of evangelistic opportunities. When God looks at creation in Genesis 1 and says “it is good,” work is a part of that.

God gave every one of us work to do on Earth to establish his kingdom. He gave each of us talents and a unique capacity to create, and the freedom to pursue worshipping him with those gifts. And as we were reminded in a recent IFWE video, it is only when we do what he created us to do that we fully discover flourishing and freedom.

Christian writer and theologian Ken Boa writes,

God has entrusted us with certain resources, gifts and abilities. Our responsibility is to live by that trust by managing these things well, according to his design and desire.

By fulfilling that responsibility—whether by speaking before millions or bussing tables for just a few—we are fulfilling God’s purpose for us.

So, while I am very thankful Gifford used her God-given platform to spread the hope of the gospel this week, I am also profoundly grateful for the reminder that when we pursue godly excellence in our chosen vocation, every hour spent on the job is an hour of praise.

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