I’m Gonna Let it Shine

I’m Gonna Let it ShineIf you attended Sunday school as a young child, it was an easy environment in which to proclaim your love for Christ. Your teachers, friends and parents all talked about Jesus, and identifying yourself as a Christian was easy and comfortable.

Remember the lyrics to the children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine?” Your light was going to shine for him. And no one and nothing was going to blow it out.

But as you grew up, shouting your love for Jesus from the rooftops may not have been as easy. There were other things to worry about, like fitting in and peer pressure.

And, as if things could not get worse, puberty and adolescence hit. You became worried about whether Johnny or Jane liked you or not. There was not a chance of you sharing your faith at the risk of sounding “dorky” in front of your peers.

You may have held your breath and hoped that, once you became an adult, you would become a better person and lead a more Christ-like life. You hoped and prayed that, once you matured, you would feel more comfortable being a bold witness for Jesus.

So now, here you are. You are an adult. And you are in the working world.

Maybe you are already confident in who you are and in what you believe. Or maybe you are blessed enough to work in a Christian environment where your faith is an integral part of what you do.

But for those who work in an environment where prestige, popularity, money and fame seem to rule the world, is it really possible to let your light shine?

Four Christians, including a teacher, a restaurant server, a doctor and an athlete, believe that you can.

The answers lie in that one simple word: SHINE.

Stay away from gossip.
The work place is full of gossip. Employees may complain about management, bosses and other colleagues. And some find humor in discussing raunchy or inappropriate topics.

And while walking away from an inappropriate conversation may seem like the right thing to do, is it truly the Christian thing to do? Maybe not. We have to remember to “try not to judge people if they don’t have a relationship with Christ,” world-renowned Cardiologist and Director of preventative medicine in cardiology at Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic, Dr. Chauncey Crandall, says. “We must have a great love for the people who are lost.”

Danny Wuerffel, 1996 Heisman Trophy winner, Executive Director of Desire Street Ministries and recent Hall of Fame inductee, agrees with Crandall. He says that when you are on a team and in the locker room “there are plenty of conversations about things that don’t honor God. Knowing when to speak out and when to mind your own business is never an easy thing to figure out. I always try to focus more on the heart than the behavior, so I just look for opportunities to share with the guys at that level.”

Hannah Huffer, third grade teacher at C.O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary School in West Palm Beach knows firsthand that gossip is difficult to avoid in the work place. “The biggest challenge as a teacher is listening to all the gossip,” Huffer says. “When I’m eating lunch with gossipers, I remain a listener, and I don’t contribute to the conversation.”

“It is important to not feed into the office drama or gossip and to know that you are there for a higher purpose,” she continues.
Help others know Christ through friendships.

It is important to tread lightly with nonbelievers. People do not always enjoy being preached to, and no one likes being treated like a child who is being reprimanded by a parent.
PBA student and Red Lobster restaurant server, Robbie Andrassy, says that it’s important to “be aware of what the Holy Spirit wants you to do and to share the gospel at the appropriate time.”
Establish friendships with coworkers before sharing with them who Jesus is. “Once I showed a coworker that I was interested in him as a person and that I cared for him, he wanted to know more about my faith,” Andrassy said.

It’s also about credibility.
Dr. Crandall, who is also the Director of Interventional Cardiology at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, is a strong believer in healing patients through a combination of medicine and prayer. He says that he took small steps toward praying for his patients and began by praying for one patient a month. The first time he prayed with a patient he said, “I excused the office staff because I didn’t know how they would react.”

“The patient cried,” he says. “It was the first time in years that someone had prayed for her.”

After that experience, Dr. Crandall began praying for patients once a week. And as he prayed for people with illness and sickness, patients “started recovering in unexpected and miraculous ways,” Crandall claims.
It took a couple years before the office staff was on board with what Crandall was doing with his patients. “When I put Bibles in my exam rooms, one of the physicians quit because he was offended,” says Crandall. “But later he came back to the practice and now he is one of my biggest advocates.”

Crandall concludes, “When you strive for excellence in the secular world, and you are the very best you can be, people will listen to you.”

Never give up. Be patient.
It takes time to build trust, friendships and credibility. So it is important to remain patient in the workplace when you are trying to share your faith. “We live in a society of instant gratification, where we want things done now,” Andrassy says. But it’s important that we remember that, the salvation of souls is in the control of God. The timeframe for which people choose to accept Christ is not up to us.

Electrify the workplace with the light that shines within.

The best way to keep the faith in the work place is to let your light shine. After all, it is the light that shines within you that makes others want to learn more about your faith.
Huffer says that she tries to be different from the other teachers by being truly happy when she is with her students. She claims that it is this happiness and love of Christ, shining through her, that has made other teachers question exactly what she has in her life and what they are missing.

Andrassy’s light is apparent to others as well. “A coworker said that he noticed I had peace,” Andrassy said. “He wanted that same peace in his life and asked where he could find it.”

One of Danny Wuerffel’s favorite quotes is to “Always share the gospel…sometimes use words.” He goes on to say that “we impact more people based on who we are, rather than simply what we say or do.”
So how can Christians keep the faith in a secular work environment?

Remain “plugged into Christ,” Wuerffel says, “like a light bulb needs to be plugged in for electricity. Be plugged in and let your light shine.”

Chrissie is a freelance writer and the Director of children’s ministries at the Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach. Read her mom blog at soundoflittlefeet.blogspot.com

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