I’ve been praying often for opportunities to radically love people. Last week God answered that prayer:
I live in a country where the quality of goods and services is generally low, and as such, things break a lot. Recently, the lights went out in our office building. As it can be tricky to work in the dark, I ran to the store and bought battery-powered lamps for every person in my department. There was a bit of assembly required, so I put them together in each one’s office until they were completed. In this country, a person in my position should not have humbled himself to perform menial tasks like this, so it was a bit of a shock to all bought lamps for. About an hour after I’d arranged for everyone in the department to have a lamp, someone from another floor, visited our floor, saw our lamps and came to me and asked if I had any extras. Since I did not, I gave her mine. Soon afterward, as my co-workers who I’d gotten lights for passed by my office they noticed it was dark. They inquired, “Why would you give up your light when you already bought one for most everyone and even assembled them?!?” Sacrificial love is an unheard-of concept in my country, so when we speak of Jesus’ sacrifice we are met with blank stares. But when we model it, when our words are put into practice, it is then that people begin to understand.
I remain convinced that the best place to live out the things of Jesus, to let my light shine before men, is in the workplace. Everyday my colleagues get to see the stuff I’m made of – and if my actions match my words or not. It’s in this space that real transformation can begin.
This is how real transformation begins. Sowing the seeds through our actions. When the things go wrong – the lights go out. Ask His Spirit, “How can I bless others?” Or “Use this situation to glorify you?”
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.