Most people will spend the vast majority of their lives at their job. As pastors, we must thoughtfully shepherd our people to see how their faith in Christ impacts the way they handle the weekly demands of work. In his book Fruit at Work, Chris Evans provides a helpful resource that gives insight from his own experience in the workplace and his study of Scripture.
Evans started three successful businesses, served on the board of multiple companies, and was awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He began asking, “What does it mean to be a Christian in the workplace?” and has determined that beyond sharing the Gospel, we must develop and exercise the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) in the workplace. The sad reality he has observed is that for many who claim to be Christians, the fruit of the Spirit is not evident in their lives at work.
Some Christians would state that the reason for this is because demonstrating these traits in the business world would be professional suicide. Evans writes that “Kindness can be seen as kissing up, patience as weakness, and peace as passivity.” Yet he argues these very traits are often beneficial to your work.
Evans gives an important reminder to those who might think that they must work hard by their own efforts to produce these traits in their life.
“Some people may get the impression that by trying to exercise the fruit of the Spirit on their own, they can somehow earn God’s favor or forgiveness…The more you look at the fruit as some sort of to-do list that you can use to earn God’s favor, the more you are moving in the wrong direction. It’s only by accepting God’s grace that we have access to His Spirit and the real fruit can be produced.”
Evans challenges Christians in the business world to see their job as much more than a place to climb a ladder or earn a paycheck. Instead, a job should be seen as an ideal opportunity to grow in Christ: “Few other areas in your life offer the kind of environment that will challenge your character, faith, and relationships with others or that can show you where you need to grow.”
In the book, Evans reviews biblical examples of each fruit, provides real-life situations where the fruit can be demonstrated in the workplace, and challenges readers to seek to cultivate that fruit in their life.
As a pastor, it is very helpful to have a resource like this for those in the church who spend their week in the business world. This book will help them see that their work is an essential part of their growth in Christ-likeness. Along with its study guide, I can see this book being utilized successfully in a small group setting of believers. If Christians will begin to see their job as a place to display Christ through the fruit of the Spirit, there is no limit to the impact it will have on their lives and their companies for the glory of God.
NOTE: The Kindle version of Fruit at Work is available now through Sept. 14 for $3.99 and all proceeds of this sale will be donated to Door International and their mission to equip deaf believers and churches.
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