A friend came for dinner the other night. Let’s call him Josh. He helps with the local Care Van for the homeless; last time he went out on the van, one of the other helpers said she was sick of giving coffee to people who weren’t particularly needy, and who were taking advantage of them.
Josh told me that he replied in this striking way: “You’ve forgotten the whole point of why we’re out here. We’re not here primarily to help the very neediest. We’re here to show some people that Jesus is in the world.”
I may agree or disagree with his take on Care Van policy, but his comment got me thinking again about us representing Jesus in this world. If Jesus worked at my workplace, what would that be like? How would he organise his time? How would he answer his emails? What would he chat about?
We’ve talked previously at this site about the “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD) products. One of the key problems for me with these products is that many Christians look at them and feel guilty or restrained from doing something, rather than feel inspired to imagine seriously what Jesus would do (which would usually be something unexpected, shocking, creative and positive). I’m asking you to think about the latter – what exactly would Jesus the milkman do? Or Jesus the accountant? Or Jesus the [fill in your job here]?
I want to represent Jesus in my workplace. I’m not sure how. This type of WWJD thinking may indeed lead me to feel some guilt, but there’s some guilt I need to feel. However, my intention is to move beyond that – how can we genuinely be actively Christlike in our practical, daily life? How can we show our colleagues that Jesus is in the world?
The workplace is just one aspect. Josh is facing a serious marriage breakdown – what does it mean to show his wife that Jesus is in the world? Or for us, the people we relate to?