The letters of Peter anchored me as I transitioned from working full-time at my Iocal church, to working in investment finance last year.

How could I be bold in this professional environment?

I felt like a foreigner, desperately wanting to be a light in my new office, but unsure as to how. How could I be bold in this professional environment? What would it cost? And here were these letters, addressed to believers who were “scattered” among the regions and described as spiritual “foreigners” awaiting their true home in the new heavens and earth:

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” – 1 Peter 4:12-14

Previously working in my church office, I would often long for the opportunity to work in a ‘secular context’. But God revealed that my fear of people’s reactions had actually blinded me to all the opportunities around me already. My next-door neighbours were non-believers; every day, I walked past non-believers on the street; and most of the contacts in my phone were non-believers!

One afternoon, after praying for boldness, I approached a man sitting in a coffee shop and asked him what he thought about Jesus. My mind conjured up scenes of him throwing his coffee on me, outraged that I’d interrupted his day. However, we spoke for an hour, studying John chapter 3, and he was intrigued by Jesus’ claim that we could be made new through Him. Ultimately, the biggest opposition to me sharing Jesus had been my own fears, not actually the other person’s response.

Ultimately, the biggest opposition to me sharing Jesus had been my own fears, not actually the other person's response.

Living a life that is sold out for God means overcoming my ego, pride and selfish ambition – things that the world tells us will help us get ahead at work –  instead, striving to see Jesus made known and God’s kingdom to come in my workplace. But it also means overcoming my fears of how others may react or the possibility of how I might suffer when I share Jesus.

In my new workplace, I’ve continued to embrace the idea that there is so much to be gained when we step out in faith, regardless of our fears. I aim to embody the kindness of Jesus in my actions – even if this is perceived as weakness. And I aim to be clear about the consequences of our sin and the extent of God’s mercy on the cross – even if this isn’t popular to discuss. More often than not, the reality is much less scary than my fears made it seem, just like in that coffee shop.

We’re freed from the weight of earthly opinions, and are propelled to joy by one thing: experiencing the life Jesus lived.

At a team-bonding initiative, a colleague asked me what my motivation in life was. I wanted to give a cookie-cut answer on how I loved investment finance, but the prevailing response in my heart was that I love Jesus and want to please Him. So, to avoid being dishonest, that’s what I said! I spoke about eternity and how I longed to see Jesus face-to-face because He saved my life. My colleague saw the delight in my face and asked me why she’d never felt the same joy in her own life. She’d tried many ideologies and asked how she could experience joy from faith. I was able to give her a Bible, but looking back, I wish I’d also had the courage to pray with her.

As we become willing to step out, regardless of how others may react, our hearts turn heavenward to Jesus. We’re freed from the weight of earthly opinions, and are propelled to joy by one thing: experiencing the life Jesus lived. This is the blessing of God: to receive the same Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus to be courageously obedient. And one day we will become “overjoyed” as we stand in His immediate presence. The joy we currently taste is whetting our appetites for future glory.

Let’s not think it’s strange to live as Jesus lived. In our pursuit to share the gospel winsomely at work, God uses the same method He used to send shockwaves throughout humanity 2000 years ago. How did God rescue humanity, give eternal wealth to the poor, and set captives free? In perfect love He won our salvation, and through that same love He can cast out our fears.