Everyday Laboring Tips | Co-Workers and Classmates
Kingdom laboring doesn’t have to be laborious. More than anything, Kingdom laboring is loving others out of the up-close love relationship you have with God. It doesn’t require a theological degree, insist on a minimum age, or demand a certain level of spiritual maturity. Kingdom laboring is a simple call to intentionally and genuinely love others—wherever you are, whoever you’re with, with whatever measure of God’s love you have to offer in the moment.
Below are 7 ways to love your co-workers and classmates in Kingdom-Laboring ways. In time, you might be amazed to see just how much God’s Kingdom grows in and around you seemingly “all by itself” (Mark 4:28) as you authentically and intentionally love others.
Here are 7 ways to authentically love co-workers & classmates with intentionality.
- Work to please the real boss.
Sometimes the best evangelism comes from the hardest worker. That doesn’t mean you have to be the best and smartest employee or student. It simply means that those who are the most diligent and dependable are often the most respected and listened to. That all begins with knowing who your real boss is. For Christians, it’s Jesus. Emotionally intelligent people often sniff out co-workers and classmates who are in it for themselves or have ulterior motives other than really loving God and others. So, work hard and do it for Jesus most of all. It’s amazing how many conversations and opportunities present themselves when we have that genuine mindset, motivation, and work ethic. Look no further than Joseph and his story with Potiphar (Genesis 37-50).
- Love people, don’t make them your next work or school project.
Good employees and students love getting things done. And projects are great—just not when it comes to people. Avoid the temptation to treat your co-workers or classmates as the next subject of an evangelism term paper or another bullet point to add to a spiritual resume. Life is messy, and people are complex. Tools on helping people make faith decisions can be helpful, but 1-2-3ing people to Jesus is rarely a good idea. Love Jesus passionately. Love your co-workers and classmates genuinely and with great intention as the Lord gives direction. Leave measured results and final grades in their appropriate settings.
- Confidently live out the you God made you to be.
An old adage says, “I know I’m special, cuz’ God don’t make junk!” It’s true. God made you on purpose, with purpose. That means the best worker, student, and Kingdom Laborer you can be will take shape as you continue to be the best you God has in mind. Too many employees, students, and Christ-followers try way too hard living into the personality, giftings, and uniqueness of other people. That kind of performance wears a person out, and no one benefits from it. Understanding and growing more and more into who God made you to be, however, attracts others to Jesus and allows you to live with greater joy and freedom. Trust God that you being you makes the best worker, student, and Kingdom Laborer.
- Work with generosity not scarcity.
God’s not stingy. We shouldn’t be either. Too many decisions in life are made with a scarcity mentality. Believing the lie that there won’t be enough to go around, we scrape and claw for “me and mine.” We hold back truth because we fear speaking it might cost us something that can’t be replaced (like income, grades, relationships). We hold at bay people who don’t think, believe, or act like us, because we somehow believe that the seats at any given table are limited. Ultimately, scarcity has its roots in not believing or trusting that “because the Lord is our shepherd, we lack nothing” (Psalm 23). Being generous with our words, our hospitality, our honesty, our cooperation, and our intellect goes a long way in loving others and attracting them to the very love of God. It reflects God’s heart and character and sets our lives apart as those who neither put our deepest trust in ourselves or this world’s systems and “survival of the fittest” philosophies.
- Get ahead by loving those left behind and pushed aside.
Jesus loved the unlikable, unlovable, unloved, the overlooked, and the pushed aside. Shouldn’t we? In work and academic settings, we often attach ourselves to those we think will take us further, get us promoted, liked, more popular, and promoted. There’s nothing wrong with excelling (see suggestion #1 on the list: we should do our best to be our best for the real Boss). The issue is motivation. Why do we have the relationships we have? What are we after? And, are we neglecting others and not loving as Jesus loves simply because people don’t help us achieve the goals we’re after? Jesus stopped and spent time with the least, last, and lost out of a heart motivated by love. Though costly, his reputation ended up just fine. What’s your motivation in stopping (or not stopping) at the cubical, desk, or locker to spend time with someone who others often push aside?
- Eat lunch and take breaks with a variety of people.
When’s the last time you shared lunch and conversation with someone who isn’t like you, doesn’t think like you, dress like you, vote like you, or even believe like you? What might be gained by doing what Jesus did and crossing certain social, political, and religious lines to learn from and love others? If Jesus “stepped down into darkness, put on flesh and blood, and moved into our neighborhoods” (John 1, paraphrased), shouldn’t we? Jesus’ demonstrated his love time and again in his willingness to cross boundaries and eat with sinners, social outcasts, and people outside the traditional social and religious circles (Mark 2:16). What might you learn in sitting across the table from someone very different from yourself? Is it time you risk venturing outside the comfort surroundings of your familiar friend relationships? Why not set a goal for yourself of inviting one or two people a month to have lunch with the sole purpose of knowing, loving, and learning? What do you have to lose compared to what might be gained?
- Pray for and with your co-workers and classmates.
Prayer is not a slap-on. Prayer is the spark that ignites love and adds to God’s promise to make all people and things—new. Prayer puts us in touch with God’s heart and plan. It leads us to action. That’s why praying for and with co-workers and classmates is no small thing. For most, praying for others is easier than praying with others. If that’s the case for you, great, start there: pray for others. Pray for their health, their family, their faith journey, their success, and whatever else God might lay on your heart. In time, your praying for them, may lead you to conversations with them. As you open yourself up to their life and God’s heart, opportunities to pray with them will unfold. Very few relationships ever ended over genuinely and lovingly asking someone, “Is there any way I can pray for you?” or in letting someone who’s dealing with hard things know that you’ll be praying for them. Prayer will open your heart and eyes to love your co-workers and classmates as Jesus love them. And isn’t that what Kingdom Laboring is all about?
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