THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN IN THE WORKPLACE
" ...shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."
The desert nights of my home-town are spectacular. On a hill, high above the city lights we watch the evening stars appear one by one, until there is a mesmerizing vista of millions of gleaming lights, set in a vast space of billions and billions of miles, yet each one showing up clearly and distinctly. Each star is impossible to hide because it is light surrounded by darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it, cannot quench it, in fact, the darker the night, the brighter the star!
Our world system has taken the word "star" and it's unique ability to stand out, to embody what it worships: the cravings and appetites of the human heart apart from God, and places it into the image of a person, to then be projected on a movie screen, a picture in magazines, a momentary stage... a simple illusion, a false mirror, a make-believe image... worshiped , praised, coveted and imitated.
One of the names of this image is: "Hollywood Star" and she is stunningly, shockingly beautiful, surrounded by riches and comforts of the highest caliber, men who adore her falling at her feet, her body is exposed to be lusted after by any and all men, married or single, seducing and enticing, captivating and alluring, her aura of power is magnetic and her intelligence is not readily available to scrutiny... she has it all : numerous and extravagant homes, exotic vacations and safari's, nannies to watch their one or two artificially produced children who were nurtured in the womb of a surrogate, power, fame, beautiful clothes and jewelry, all of the best in transportation by land, water, air-- handsome doting men, exchangeable at any time for a new and better version, ease, comfort, the best of Doctors, especially cosmetic ones, the best and richest of foods and fine dining, the top schools and educations for their children, she can do anything she pleases when she pleases, and when her actions are down right bizarre she is praised...Those who watch and drink her in want to be just like her...This "Hollywood Star" is the one that shines greatest of all in our present universe, our world system, a world that knows not God... and a few sad months later she is gone... utterly gone...a shattered, empty image, replaced instantly by a new, better shinier star who will get to last for a few months and then shatter... broken, bleeding, cast away... because new captivating "Hollywood Stars" keep coming, groomed and prepared since birth...thousands upon thousands of them waiting for their seconds of self-glory.
Creator God says to the humans that he created:
" ... shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."
Women, how do we become a star in God's book?
How do we shine forever in such a dark and vastly perverted world?
God gave us his answers in the book of life, which is the word of life, which gives eternal life... and never before have we had such a magnificent opportunity to shine, to stand out, to gleam, to light the way for others, to live out the word of life and sparkling for our Creator, as we do in the age that we find ourselves in.
We are called to shine like stars and shine we can! God's way is opposite of the world's way- so opposite that it never seems to quite make sense. For instance:
If you want to be first, then be willing to be last.
If you want to be great, then be willing to be the least.
If you want honor, seek the way of humility.
If you want fulfillment, serve others.
If you want to be rich, give money to the needy.
If you want to be praised, seek to praise others.
If your enemy hates and mistreats you, love him.
If you don't agree with your parents, honor and obey them.
If you desire more, learn to be content with what you have.
If you want to gripe and complain, look around and begin being thankful.
If you think you're very capable and self-sufficient, say you're not and put your hope in God alone.
If you think you are very smart, look for someone smarter and keep a proper perspective.
If you think you don't have much, look for someone who has less and give to them.
Would you like to receive? Then give...
Do you wish to be encouraged? Begin praising God and then encourage others.
Do you wish to be respected and have your opinion sought? First keep your knowledge to
yourself. Do not air your own opinions.
Do you wish to see goodness? Look for it in others. Seek it
Do you wish to have good relationships? Over-look offenses . Seek peace and pursue it.
Do you desire respectful honor? Hold the tongue...keep holding it...keep holding...
Do you wish for kind treatment? Be kind with words, actions, and forgive quickly.
God's list goes on and on and can be generally summed up with:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself "
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
As women in the workplace, how can we best demonstrate Godly Stardom, that lives out God's love through holding out the word of truth? What does a "Godly Star" look like?
I've heard people, bosses, talking about "Godly Stars," praising them to top leaders in their community: In a nut-shell, this is what is said of them --- this is how they shine and stand out above all others:
Her attitude is always respectful towards her boss and towards her co-workers... she avoids gossiping and back-biting... she can always be depended on to do her work right, and on time... when under pressure, she finds a quiet place to pray and get her perspective back on track with her God... she shows kindness to everyone, every day... when she got impatient with someone, she then apologized for her shortness... her smile lights up a room... she brings peace and warmth into her work-place... her motive for working is not driven by greed... she looks for ways to say kind things about her boss... she doesn't meddle in other people's affairs... she does not discuss other's lives... she laughs with ease... she expresses verbal appreciation and thankfulness... she is tastefully well-dressed, but never provocatively... she does not cheat by showing cleavage, nor uses her femininity for selfish gain... when the boss asked her to fudge on the truth, she gently refused... strangers are drawn to her and ask about her because she stands out... she is as beautiful inside as out... "her work of excellence and quality makes us look good", bragged one boss... she loves and praises her husband; everyone knows quickly that her heart and focus is on one particular man: her husband ... her children are her pride and joy and they come first, always... her children reflect her integrity, kindness, and Christian character... her purity is refreshing... her eyes look straight ahead... she is warm and friendly but shows discretion and prudence with men... her boundaries are clear and easily read... she does not spend time alone with a man... does not go out to eat with a male boss or co-worker, unless her husband or his wife are included... her words are wise and well-thought out... she is vivacious and up-beat, and it's contagious ... she can keep secrets and is trustworthy... her words promote encouragement and praise of others... she is sincere and focused... " I've never seen her get angry, she is so pleasant and sweet" bragged a boss... her cheerful face promotes cheer in others... she does not brag about herself and seems to really think that her joyful life comes from her love of her God... she does things for others without pay... she avoids quarrels and arguments... she knows how to bite down on her tongue, holding it, holding it... she brings good to others... she can be counted on to give an honest answer... she gives praise but not flattery... she learns from her mistakes and is quick to take responsibility for them... she has a kind and gracious heart... she makes people laugh... she sees the funny things in situations...people are drawn to her... her faithfulness to God and her family promote respect... "her discernment has helped us avoid some pitfalls" bragged a boss... she is self-controlled with her tongue and her emotions...she does not hold grudges and knows how to forgive... she does not fake her feelings... she is a great example of one who represents her faith... her integrity is of the highest...
These are just a few of the ways that "Godly Stars" have been shining in our town, in their work-places, holding forth the word of life.
Isn't she simply beautiful?! Don't you want her as a friend? I do!
She is irreplaceable as her inner beauty deepens and expands over the years etching lines of laughter , wisdom and experience on her happy , healthy face. She is rich in love and friendship and she communes constantly with her God, who directs her daily and leads her on the path He designed for her. She seeks her God and she finds Him, reflecting that inner love for Him, to others. In essence, she " holds out the word of truth" for all to see.
The book of Proverbs is one of the best places to find the practical character traits of " Godly Stars" and I will close by naming just a few that have given direction to the above-mentioned " Godly Stars" that shine so beautifully in our small community, giving glory to creator God:
"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."
"Above all else guard your heart for it is the well-spring of life"
"Keep corrupt talk far from your lips"
"To fear the Lord is to hate evil"
"Those who seek me find me"
"He who holds his tongue is wise"
"The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom"
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
"A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret."
"A wife of noble character is her husbands crown"
"A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult"
"A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself"
"Diligent hands will rule"
"From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things"
"He who guards his lips guards his soul"
"A gentle answer turns away wrath"
"The cheerful heart has a continual feast"
"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart"
"Whoever heeds correction gains understanding."
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed."
"He who covers over an offense promotes love."
"It is to a man's honor to avoid strife"
"He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor."
"He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend."
"An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips"
"A kindhearted woman gains respect"
"It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor."
"A wise man keeps himself under control"
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."