Be a person (not just a colleague)

Have you clocked the professional/personal divide in our workplaces?

Shamed politicians, for example, have sometimes refused to stand down because some scandal happened ‘in their personal lives.’

This divide also means that, at work, people have simply become colleagues.

Colleagues have answers to questions; people have feelings. Colleagues are competitors wanting my promotion; people are longing to be satisfied.

Colleagues are competent or incompetent before their boss; people are righteous or sinful before God.

A colleague is impersonal; people are always personal.

Colleagues

When people at work are only colleagues, we forget they’re just like us. Like us in our messy lives, our rebellion against God and our hopelessness without Christ (Ephesians 2:12).

Who’s motivated to pray for colleagues when it’s people who face God’s judgment? Who’d put their neck on the line to tell a colleague about Jesus when it’s people who Jesus saves?

If we want to see people won for Christ at work, we should want to build relationships with people, not just professional relationships with colleagues.

How do you do that?

People

First, you have to be a person. Not just a colleague.

Make mistakes and tell your boss. Ask something more than ‘good weekend?’. Open up. Invite colleagues to your house for a meal.

Put something personal on your desk. Admit not understanding something. Be honest about your sick dad.

This vulnerability will be attractive to colleagues who get exhausted of having to keep up their professional face.

They’ll ask the obvious question, at least in their heads - what makes you able to do that?

Cue, 1 Peter 3:15.