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Joined: 2010/3/25
Posts: 53
Queensland, Australia

 Obedience in the workplace

Ok, one for all the deep thinkers. For those that aren't (and that's fine) this may bore you silly.

A question:


Like a prodigal, a year ago I returned to God and I have been on fire since. God has been gracious enough to reveal his truth to me and I see it. My hearts desire then is for total obedience to him. The Holy Ghost is taking me through my life step by step. Hallelujah.

During the time I was away from our King I selected a career and pursued it. I selected my career based on one simple criterion: "What can I do that maximised my take home pay for the least amount of effort". As a result I selected a career in IT.

I did not consider whether the job suited the temperament and type of person my creator made me to be. At the point I made the decision, I no longer believed in a creator.

This career is almost the polar opposite of what I'm built to do. I simply cannot sit still and concentrate long enough to be completely obedient at work.

This has not bothered me too much before as I didn't care whether I stole employers time or did as little as I could get away with, leaving the office on personal errands etc. In my career, this is normal. Everyone does it and so I thought who cares?

But now my priorities have changed and I want to go on for God and be totally available for him to work through. This cannot be unless I am submitted to him.

So I am working on submission at work. Problem is I cannot do this job with the level of ability I need to be obedient to God. I have prayed and prayed and prayed about this.

Problem is, if I'm not working every minute of each day I feel like I am being disobedient and stealing my employers time. I feel to ashamed and condemned about it and so down in myself because I know I don't have it within me to keep this level of commitment.

Important point - even when there's NO WORK TO DO (because I'm awaiting deliverables, or we've delayed, etc) I feel condemned for not working. Even when I ask others to help them. I know there's no condemnation anymore but I can't shake it and I pray daily about it.

Should I just not worry and give it to God cause he understands? Should I change careers into something He directs me to (or build a business in which this problem would no longer exist)? I'll do anything. I just want to be obedient.

Am I over-analysing this? If so, it's only because I hold God's word to be so important to me and desire total obedience.

I get so depressed because I think to myself "If I can't even remain faithful in these little things, how is he going to possibly use me anywhere else?"

Please help a brother that is deperately trying to turn his life over to Christs service.

Thanks in love people.

Nick van der Net

 2011/8/15 23:46Profile

Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860

 Re: Obedience in the workplace

I work in a similar job in fact I probably had even less go on than you. At times I have 8 hours of nothing but sitting in front of a computer.

Here are some suggestions I have found help me with the condemnation area.

1. Recognizing there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus :)
2. Bring a bible to work, study, pray, etc.
3 Bring a good book to work that will help you grow in the Lord.
4 Listen to sermons if possible.
5 Think of and write out outreach and ministry ideas in your spare time. Bring your own Paper and Pens if you feel condemnation from using some of the office supplies.
6 If you get on Facebook and find it a struggle to get away from it you have two option 1. Get rid of Facebook or 2. Go through and pray for all your friends based off their statuses. :)

I understand exactly where you are coming from my job does the same thing but I take peace and rest in Christ Jesus knowing I have all my work done and that my time is of value, and so when my job doesn't provide me with enough work to last 8 hours I find no problem doing work for the Lord and growing deeper in a relationship with Him.

So I believe you maybe over analyzing things a bit NOW if you simply aren't getting your work done because of dilly dallying then you would be robbing the company of their money. They pay you to do a job and so once you have that work done there shouldn't be condemnation in that.

If you are super worried about it I would ask your employer if you can listen to sermons in your free time and if you can bring a bible to read in your free time. Yet another option is ask your supervisor for more responsibilities that will further occupy your time.

Matthew Guldner

 2011/8/16 2:36Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7494

 Re: Obedience in the workplace

I am not familiar with your job but from reading I see you must have some idle time on your hands...

Now, I speak as an employer because we do employ people seasonally.

I do spend time visiting with our employees, some non-productive as far as the work goes. Sometimes we get caught up in our work so we tell them to sit and take it easy - you could use it!

What is really annoying is when an employee will abuse cell phone use - when she will chat with friends while working, slowing her, making her non-productive. And charging us for this time - the Bible calls this purloining. She is stealing. Because we have had a bad experience in this area, we will tell new hirees they cannot use their cell phone while working except in emergencies. Can I use it? Sure! But I am the boss!

In my opinion, I do not see why you need to feel guilty when one is caught up and waiting on another person...this happens everywhere - usually - when you have productive folks working.


Sandra Miller

 2011/8/16 7:38Profile

Joined: 2004/5/17
Posts: 235

 Re: Obedience in the workplace

“This career is almost the polar opposite of what I'm built to do.”

This could very well be the voice of God to you. If you believe He has created you for His purpose and your current job does not fulfill that purpose you may well be free to look for another opportunity.

Ask God to show you where you should be. Ask Him if He wants you to look for employment that is better suited to the new you. Again, your dissatisfaction could be your indication to leave if God has not explicitly told you to stay where you are.

“Problem is, if I'm not working every minute of each day I feel like I am being disobedient and stealing my employers time. I feel to ashamed and condemned about it and so down in myself because I know I don't have it within me to keep this level of commitment.”

This is not healthy. If we are guilty of sin we should experience the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. From your description, it does not sound like you are sinning at the office. All jobs have delays. If the delays are too lengthy, ask your boss what is acceptable to fill the time, some of the suggestions from mguldner perhaps. A simple correction of your thinking/expectations may alleviate your anxiety.

“Am I over-analysing this? If so, it's only because I hold God's word to be so important to me and desire total obedience.

I get so depressed because I think to myself "If I can't even remain faithful in these little things, how is he going to possibly use me anywhere else?"”

These statements are mutually exclusive. The Lord convicts us of sin, so that we may repent and get on with life, loving Him and following Him. To grieve over sin is expected but if your introspection is causing you to suffer when you are not sinning you are making a big mistake!

Do you have a pastor/elder or another man that you can get wise and godly counsel from? Perhaps God has some issues deep inside your heart that He longs to heal.


 2011/8/16 8:05Profile

 Re: Pandarus

Brother I used to be a COBOL.programmer on the IBM mainframes. I worked in the public sector. We would get in those slack times where no assignments were forth coming. Sometimes this would be for days at a time. The really frustrating thing was we had to pretend we were busy for the higher ups. I need not say that COBOL manual got pretty boring reading it all the time. Liviticus would have been more edifying. I eventually left that job. I can't say I acted with wisdom.

I think Mguldner offered the best wisdom. I would also suggest pray what God would have you do career wise. Maybe he is using these frustrations to direct you elsewhere. But the key word is pray. Take a prayer weekend. Go somewhere with Bible and notebook or joirnal and seek him. Listen to the Spirit and pray. Then record your thoights or rather the thoughts he gives you.

Another suggestion. God has placed you in your present job not just to earn a paycheck but to be salt and light to those around you. See your work place as a potential mission field. Pray for your coworkers. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to speak of Jesus to them. Every morning before you go into work pray blessing over your work place and your work station. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how your job will change.

Submitted by Blaine Scogin

 2011/8/16 9:37

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2007
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Obedience in the workplace

Pandarus: What kind of jobs did you have before this one?

Some people are called to a job or a career. God has a specific place He wants them for a specific reason. Some people, like Paul, make tents so that they can eat while they do what God has called them to do. I can think of a lot of people, myself at times as well, who just needed income so that they can eat they live their lives for Christ.

Some jobs require more attention than others, which is why I asked the question. If you work in a factory making widgets on the assembly line you are required to be moving every second of the job. There is a tangible sense of productivity since you are always busy and you see the finished widgets always coming off the line. The same could be said of a carpenter or of a ditch digger.

Some jobs are a little more heavy on the brain power, which sounds like you job. Maybe you don't have such a sense of continual productivity and maybe it is hard for you to feel like you are not accomplishing anything. I would have a couple of questions.

Are you performing the job assigned to you to the satisfaction of your employer?

Are you looking for ways to improve upon the job you are doing so that you can contribute to your employers success?
In your line of work this is most likely going to look like ideas that improve the productivity of someone else by means of using technology in a better way.

If you are faithfully fulfilling your job description and if you are looking for ways to go beyond what is expected of you then you are over-analyzing and need to quit worrying about it.

If you are paid by the hour then you need to be careful not to purposely squander your employers time. Take time when you think you have nothing to do and consider thinking of ways to better do your job or of ideas to contribute to the employers success. If you are salaried you are being paid to do a job, not to work X number of hours at Y pay rate. Then the situation changes entirely.

Hope that helps.


 2011/8/16 18:23Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


Another thing you can consider is to be like Joseph. If you have idle time at work, start looking for other jobs you can perform at your work. Start doing the janitorial work, busy work, clean the toilets, serve at the most rudimentary levels. Who might start saving your employer money, and keep yourself from condemnation at the same time.

Just a thought, there is always something to do.

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2011/8/16 21:22Profile

Joined: 2010/3/25
Posts: 53
Queensland, Australia


Brothers, thankyou so much for your thoughts.

The Holy Ghost is currently taking me through the Be Ye Transformed course by Nancy Missler (Wife of Chuck).

Thank God! He has revealed the source of my anxiety and frustration. It would seem I have ADHD-PI. Halleluyah! He has given me an answer to many problems. A reason why I am the way I am.

Now it's revealed I can do something about.

Praise God. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free!

We have a WONDERFUL God!!!!

Nick van der Net

 2011/8/17 7:44Profile


When I was a kid, there was no such thing as ADHD.

Why don't you do something constructive with all that extra energy and free time and chuck your job and become a consultant, working for yourself, instead? You won't be fiddlin' around anymore when you are working for yourself.

 2011/8/17 8:00

Joined: 2010/3/25
Posts: 53
Queensland, Australia


Nick van der Net

 2011/8/17 15:51Profile

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