Many of us hesitate at the thought of mentioning Jesus Christ to a coworker. We become like Peter in Mark 14:38 (NAS) when Jesus says to him, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Why do we remain silent about Christ at those times when the Holy Spirit is telling us to speak?
Jesus clearly wants us to spread the Good News. Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations”; Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the good news” and Acts 1:8, “Be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” The workplace is where you mingle with the nations and the world on a regular basis, and there are occasions when it would be appropriate to speak of Jesus Christ and his Word.
In addition, here in the United States, federal law gives you the freedom to discuss matters of faith at work. Religious speech is a protected workplace right under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As Christians, we can talk about Jesus in the workplace just as openly as we would sports, music, or your favorite online video.
If all this is true, and it is, why do we hesitate? The answer for many of us is found in John 12:42-43 which reads:
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. (emphasis added)
This passage reveals the two primary reasons why we choose to be silent before our coworkers.
Fear of what others may think.
John 12:42 says, “They would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue.” The “they” in this verse are believers who feared rejection by their peer group. Their fear of rejection stifled their speech.
Proverbs 29:25 declares: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare.” Fear of mentioning Jesus Christ in a conversation with others is a spiritual snare that holds you against your will. Jesus is the opposite of a snare—he is freedom personified. 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Simply telling a workplace friend how Jesus Christ changed your life for the better is nothing to be feared.
A love for the praise of others.
John 12:43 reveals another reason why we remain silent, which is that we love the “praise from men more than praise from God.” The NAS translates this verse as, “For they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.”
Being needy for the world’s praise and approval can keep you silent concerning the greatness of God. In the context of verse 43, seeking the “approval of men” is spiritual submission to the wrong master.
Jesus Christ is the best news on the planet.