ATLANTA (BP)–If your job feels more like a soap opera than a calling, you’re not alone. For many Christian professionals, work often entails navigating plenty of drama and tension.
There’s the couple having an affair down the hall; a foul-mouthed supervisor in the corner office; or a supervisor who may be pressuring subordinates to falsify the financial records. Any one of these things can distract Christians from influencing others and living a godly life at work.
“The nature of the marketplace barrages the carnal senses,” Henry and Richard Blackaby write in their latest book, “God in the Market Place: Experiencing His Will in Your Work,” released by the B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources.
The father-son authors note that “success can foster pride and greed; competition can test your ethics and breed jealousy; gossip can spread like gangrene throughout the office; sexual enticement is always close at hand.”
These and other issues are addressed by the Blackabys in answering 45 questions posed by Fortune 500 executives regarding faith, life and business.
“Christian men and women who hold influential positions in the marketplace want to know how their relationship with God practically affects their careers and their personal lives,” the authors write. “This book is our response to questions we have frequently been asked over the years by sincere Christians seeking to live their lives in a God-honoring manner.”
The Blackabys are no strangers to providing sound advice to those in the business world. Both work with Christian CEOs: Henry Blackaby leads a monthly Bible study, “God in the Workplace” and Richard writes a monthly devotional for businesspeople.
Henry Blackaby also is founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International and author of “Experiencing God,” with 4 million copies in print and translations in more then 45 languages. Richard Blackaby is president of the Atlanta-based family ministry.
Through the years, the Blackabys have witnessed how the workplace can take a toll on relationships, family and a person’s faith. It’s a place where people can be at their best and, too often, at their worst.
A common issue that believers deal with in the workplace involves their families and balancing work with responsibilities at home. Many professionals think they can put their family life on the back burner until their career gets to where it needs to be. But too often marriages and families end up suffering as a result.
“Some of the most famous business magnates in history were not even on speaking terms with their children,” the Blackabys write.
“Tragically, many executives forfeit the most precious relationships they have in order to get ahead. John D. Rockefeller became the wealthiest man of his day, yet all his influence, money, and persuasive skills could not convince his daughter Edith to visit him during his final decades.”
Most importantly, though, the workplace is where believers have an opportunity to influence others with their Christian faith no matter who their employer may be.
“Those who do business with you, either as a supervisor, a subordinate, or a client may not always agree with your policies or business strategies, but they should be intrigued by your God,” the Blackabys write.
“They may clamor for greater profit margins and higher sales performance, but they ought to be satisfied with your integrity.”
In the end, handling all of these issues and making the right decisions comes down to spiritual growth, the Blackabys note, asking: Are we spending time with God daily? Are we in fellowship with other believers? What kind of influence are we on others?
“Realize that your value and self-worth do not come from a career or position but from your relationship with God,” they write. “The Lord is entering corporate offices and inviting businesspeople to join Him.
“Jesus is calling professionals from every field and mobilizing them for His Kingdom agenda…. Now is the time to join God in His exciting work.”
Shawn Hendricks is a writer in Richmond, Va. Henry and Richard Blackaby’s “God in the Market Place: Experiencing His Will in Your Work” can be purchased at LifeWay Christian Stores or online at www.lifewaystores.com. Blackaby Ministries is on the Web at www.henryblackaby.com.