Need a Second Chance?
What is the arena where you have the greatest potential for influencing people for Christ? Is it with your family? Is it at church? Or could it be at work? Based on the place where you spend most of your time, you might have to admit that it is where you spend 40, 60 or even more hours each week - at your job.
Yet being a positive light for Christ at work can be very difficult. Why? Could it be that our colleagues have had a chance to see the "real" us? Could it be that at one point or another you have failed being the best example of a Christian? Have you become angry at an inappropriate time? Have you failed to uphold all of your standards? Have you realized just how difficult it is to be faithful all the time and just got tired of trying?
I'm convinced that we often don't have a positive influence for Christ at work because we think we have "blown" our chance, and the best we can do is just keep quiet. But isn't the message of the cross that we get second chances? Isn't it appropriate for us to tell our colleagues, "I'm sorry for my attitude. That's why I've discovered I need a savior."
The disciples sure needed a second chance. In John 21, after the disappointment of Christ's death, they had gone back to their old job - fishing. All of their original hopes had been shattered. They felt they had let Jesus down. How could they have an impact in the lives of others after they had blown it so bad? And to make matters worse, they weren't even succeeding at what they thought they were good at - catching fish.
It was at their point of need that Jesus came, prepared a breakfast for them, encouraged them, and told them where they could be successful in their efforts. He was reminding them of the lesson He had taught them earlier - only when you abide in Me will you bear fruit. Even in spite of our failures, Jesus comes and reminds us of why He came - to forgive us and give us a chance to glorify Him.
Peter, especially, needed that encouragement after denying Christ three times. After breakfast Jesus took him aside and asked him those famous questions. "Do you love me, Peter?" . . . "Well, then feed my sheep." - Do you really love me, Peter? Then get back to having a ministry in other's lives. Stop moping around like you're a failure - take that for granted. I'm in the business of transforming failures!
How do we start again in our workplace when we've blown it? Perhaps a good place to start would be Jesus's example to His disciples - being someone who met others needs, someone who encouraged others, someone who helped others be successful, someone who acknowledges without apology that they need a savior - a second chance. (By the way, these same principles work at home, in the church and anywhere else we develop relationships with people.)
God has CALLED you to your vocation so that you can be salt and light. Humbly be that person who acknowledges your need for a lot of second chances.
Scripture: John 21: 5, 6 - "Jesus therefore said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right hand side of the boat, and you will find a catch." They cast therefore, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish."
Action Point: When we remember past failures and they encourage us to give up hope of having a ministry, we can be assured that those thoughts don't come from God. Rebuke the true source and revel in being bought with a great price.
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