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5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
What does it look like to be a Christian, a professional, and a woman?
As a business owner for 13 years and a Jesus lover for four decades, I can say this: it looks like a difficult assignment, full of incredible adventure and amazing joy.
Whether it is working an entry-level position, studying to be a nurse, or heading things up as CEO of a company, what do all Christian professional women have in common? We are all on mission for Jesus and have been assigned to a people group, our tribe, if you will—to be a light and represent Jesus to our coworkers.
Others often ask me how they too can be on mission for Jesus in the workplace. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way and I hope they help you live on mission for Jesus wherever you serve him.
1. Have a strong work ethic
Live out your testimony by your example of how you work. Nothing speaks louder to your employer and teammates than a proactive person who gets stuff done and is a joy to be around. Ruth is a great example of a woman who worked hard, got noticed, received praise behind her back, and ultimately was promoted because of how faithfully she worked and trusted God.
2. Lead as quickly as you can
The lack of women leaders is an epidemic right now and a very hot topic in the media. Ladies, now is our time to take the lead! As believers, we have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. We also have the Bible that is the foundation for all wisdom. (I encourage you to read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month for a period of time.)
Help the other women in your organization.
As women, we need to seek out leadership roles, offer your opinion in team meetings, proactively ask for promotions and raises, and seek out mentors to help you get the skills you need to move up. Then, help the other women in your organization do the same.
Women who are on mission are not focused on their comfort and daydreaming about their future, but on how to represent Christ today to as many people as possible while you are at your job.
3. Love them with the love of Christ
This one I struggle with more than the others, because day in and day out it is really hard to love people. Yet, others can be won over by your love and kindness. Romans 2 tells us that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Well, my judgmental impatience doesn’t help much!
4. Your mouth needs the Holy Spirit
You spend most of your waking hours with people you work with and at times they will drive you crazy. Couple that with how Satan wants to destroy your mission and render you useless and you have trouble.
Proverbs 31:26 tells us how one biblical businesswoman once spoke: “She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” You need the Holy Spirit minute by minute to glorify God when you open your mouth and have kindness roll off your tongue. (Trust me, that I am able to at times is nothing short of a miracle in my life.)
5. Listen like Lydia
One of the greatest ways you can represent Jesus at work is to be a good listener. Ask good questions, listen for needs, and then work to meet those needs. We must be generous with our time and resources.
Lydia was a strong example of being an incredible businesswoman with a generous spirit who was in tune to the needs around her (Acts 16:14). Learn to go out of your way to be helpful, kind, and a genuine friend.
Lead where you are. Stop playing small.
As Christian professionals, we need to go for it in our careers until there is a clear call from the Lord that the mission has changed. So often in our planning for a future family, we don’t aim to be the very best we can be in the season of life we are in today and do not fully invest our talents in the here and now.
God had strong words about that in Matthew 25 and I have a strong word for you women: Lead where you are and advance your career for the glory of God. Stop playing small and understand that God will lead you to the next season of your life when he is ready. In the meantime, go for it! Rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to live for and represent Jesus in your work.