What I do is merely an extension of who I am. All my adult life I’ve been a classroom teacher, focusing mainly on high school grammar and history. Although I currently work doing vision and hearing screenings for preschool children through University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, teaching is still in my blood. Even as I’m screening children, I’m teaching about the way the machines operate and about the issues of color blindness.
Colossians 3:23 proposes: “And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Heartily means whole-heartedly, warmly, genuinely, and profoundly. Do I approach my work experience with this much fervor? One article offers ways to be my best at work, using some of the principles found in the book of Daniel. It advises to be N.I.C.E.R. N-no compromises: be the light and look for creative ways to do the job while being true to Christ. I-Integrity: also like Daniel, make the product of work be impeccable. C-compassion: like Jesus, no matter how long work is, take time to compassionately enter into people’s problems. E-excellence: do the job with the best of abilities. R-responsible to others: serve as the hands and feet of God Himself. (Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics/ Roland Hoersink/10.31.2018/ Step 1 to being a Christian at the workplace-Just be NICER/ tifwe.org)
So, do I apply being NICER in my workplace? I believe I do. My husband always says, “Don’t act like a Christian; just be one.” I do have the opportunity to be compassionate to my colleagues when they are going through a difficult season. I can practice gentleness and kindness to the small children I work with during screenings. I’ve had the great task of mentoring an Americorp volunteer who worked alongside me. Spreading hope at the job is achievable.
If I revisit that verse in Colossians 3:23, I can truly practice being the source of hope at work, and I can do this with warm, genuine, and profound wholeheartedness. What I do is merely an extension of who I am. Where I work is simply another arena for me to practice what I value most: being a Christian-being like Christ and allowing Him to work through me. Yes, I can spread hope where I work.