Every Environment Requires Criteria
by Cheryl Hill
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Working in the marketplace requires a unique combination of faith, excellence and compassion. Many times as a believer of Jesus Christ we sometimes confuse witnessing the gospel in “one” boxed package. When we are among our congregations we all can generally speak the same languages of faith and understand the motives of hearts.
When we are among people of different faiths, cultures and backgrounds “our” beliefs are put to the test of “being in the world and not of the world”. This means that you walk among many people sharing “Jesus” through means of compassion, justice, a spirit of excellence and more importantly love.
I have worked in the “sphere of influence of government” for over 15 years. I have worked from the ranks of a clerk to the heights of Office of the White House as the liaison for my state for Faith Based Initiatives. Over the 5 years of interacting with government, grassroots and faith leaders I have found that we all have the same common goal and that is to serve our communities. How we get there and communicate is what I call the “struggle in between”. For some reason we have separated the Church from government and the government from the Church. When people would say to me that we can’t work with the government I would then say but I am the government as well. God has placed people such as me in every area of influence and we have learned to walk in both worlds without compromising our Godliness. We are “standards” in these arenas of influence. If we are not there then there are no measurements to be had.
Just as our brothers in the faith such as Daniel, Moses and Joseph have shown us that we have to learn how to “enter an environment” to be seen and heard I have learned that every environment has criteria. When we are sent into the marketplace we have to understand that everyone is not a believer of God. This requires that we become all that God is. In doing this we witness the excellence, care and wisdom of God in practical ways. It is absurd to come into the midst of those that are Muslim and say “praise the Lord” but we can say “good morning”. We should not go to a business meeting with flamboyant clothing expecting someone to take us seriously. There is a standard of dressing to enter into a business meeting and to be taken seriously. We must use practical ways to set the atmosphere to be heard. We cannot go into a government or corporate meeting and say “wait a minute let’s pray first”. You should have already prayed and asked God’s guidance and wisdom and proceed to administer the wisdom of God through your work and expertise. If your colleagues or business partners desire prayer God will open the door for you to do so. Once we are established as people who are wise and can “add value” we then become vessels to be used as ears to listen to our colleagues challenges, we are free to administer words of wisdom and become known as ones with solutions. We then become answers in a safe environment.
I have learned over the years that people “see” before they “hear”. If you come to people with the HAMMER of the word of God they will resist you and all that you may have to offer.
If you are a Christian whose work is less than excellent, who is always preaching and not completing your work then it is hard to listen to anything you would have to say. If you are a Christian whose standards are that of lateness and your dress code is shoddy it will be hard to listen to you as well. If you are a Christian who entertains drinking, happy hour and office gossip you then become one hard to listen to. Your standards are always measured by your daily habits. Who you are will show up in your sphere of influence at some time or another.
I have had the honor and favor of God to meet with and minister to people who I have always admired from afar and God so wonderfully led them to me to speak into their lives. Today I am a spiritual advisor to many in the government, ministry and now the arts & entertainment arena. These people were not attracted to me because they knew of my ministry, that I worked in the Executive Office of government or was a conference speaker. Each person that I advised met me through divine encounters that God set up through my extension of compassion and excellence. They later found out my background.
Let us stay in the presence of worship as God places us in pivotal and strategic places of influence to show forth our God in practical ways.
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