This encouraged me greatly as I think about my workplace environment. I too feel stifled in my witness at work. I continue to do it, but it does feel a little awkward when I am challenging someone with regards to the Gospel. And yet, if we pause to think about it how much religion is being shoved down our throats. Not only from perverse conversations swirling around us, but also the music that is pumping through the speakers at the store I work at sings the praises of having sex whenever you want with whomever you feel like. The music preaches the wonder and majesty of getting drunk, sleeping in late, dissipation, etc.
Timmy Brister shares how he responded to his boss when confronted by him. Some of his co-workers heard him talking about the significance of a cross around his conversant’s neck. Timmy responded:
“Every day I work here at UPS, people are pushing their religion upon me. They are atheists and live like there is no God, there is no day of accounting, there is no purpose in life except living for oneself. And everyday, that religion is preached from one co-worker after another, calling me to unbelief, and I am offended by that. Everyday I hear godless talk, my Savior’s name slurred, and hear of things that used to make people blush, and I am offended by that. Without fail, my coworkers are being entirely intolerant. One would tell me of their love and passion for Kentucky basketball and another for Louisville football, and to believe contrary to them would be against their “religion.” Yet I have the same passion and devotion, not to sports or girls or parties, but Jesus Christ. So why is my “religion” the only one being called out here at UPS? Why am I the only person who is being labeled judgmental when I am doing the most merciful thing in telling people about the love of Jesus Christ? If we were to apply the same standard to others as you are applying to me, we would have to shut down all conversation among all co-workers from this moment on, and believing that will not happen, then you have forced yourself to settle with a double-standard predicated upon hearsay of those who found a portion of my conversation as offensive. On the other hand, I exhort you to visit with everyone of my coworkers and supervisors for the past three years, people who I have worked with and talked to on a daily basis, and determine whether the claims uphold any warrant. If at that point you believe that I am unfit to function as a trainer at UPS, I would resign immediately in deference to your judgment and the goodwill of UPS. But I want to make it clear to you that this is not about me, and it has never been about me. Young men like my new hire need someone who will actually take personal interest in them and want to genuinely help them in life, not shove them off like a package on a conveyor belt, and I am of the opinion that those whom I have been given to train, they will be to me of greater worth than a package to be delivered in five days but hopefully a friend for many days to come.”
Thanks, Timmy, for speaking truth balanced with grace. Read the whole post: “The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession.”