How to See God at Work: Your Coworkers and the Glory of God
We all have people in our lives that see the world differently than we do. They may be co-workers, family members, or neighbors. Our first instinct is to build walls, avoid conversations, and to pull back.
We look for adversaries in people who view the world through a different lens that we do. We can believe the lie that affirming a person in one way endorses their worldview in every way.
Yet, we can choose a better path.
Scripture teaches that all good gifts come down from the Father (James 1:17). We have been given eyes to see his handiwork in the people around us, even when they do not acknowledge God’s hand in their own lives.
I work with a man we will call Doug. Doug is not a believer. He denies the presence of God in his life and shies away from conversation about spiritual things. At the same time, Doug shines professionally. Give him a problem, a dry-erase board, and the appropriate resources and he creates art in the form of a computer network design.
He stands in the front of the room marker in hand, eyes gleaming with creativity as he steps through potential solutions. He thinks aloud, takes input from those in the room, adjusts his plan as he goes. He excels at his job. I marvel, not at the skill of the man, but at the infinitely creative God who gifts him to do this work. A problem-solving meeting becomes personal worship because I have the privilege to watch the glory of God in action —demonstrated through a man who would bristle at the very idea that his analytical problem solving is spiritual in nature.
As I wonder at the good gifts God has given him, I can’t help but approach Doug after the meeting and tell him what I think, “You are gifted at what you do. It’s a treat to watch. I’m glad to have the opportunity to participate.” Doug grins his appreciation at my genuine praise.
Is Doug ready to hear the whole story? Is he ready for me to expound on the greatness of God, the doctrine of general grace, and the glory we can find in every day experiences? No. But he’s ready to be appreciated. Everyone longs to hear a genuine compliment. We all want our work to matter.
When I honor others by genuinely acknowledging God’s good gifts in their lives, I build a bridge with them to discuss more important matters. Earnest praise goes beyond self-serving flattery which exaggerates the good qualities of others to gain favor. Flattery aims to receive a reward in return. In contrast, genuine honor flows from sincere worship of the Father and love for the recipient. It exists for its own sake. It’s offered freely as a gift and expects nothing in return.
As God’s image bearers, we must view people from his divine perspective — as holistic beings, broken yet endowed with great gifts to be used for the betterment of our world. We must search for his fingerprints in their lives and call out His good gifts when we see them. This is our spiritual act of worship.
In the process, we grow in wonder at the many varied gifts God has bestowed on our friends and neighbors as we build bridges instead of walls.
Who do you need to see through the lens of divine perspective? How can you acknowledge the good gifts of God in their lives?