How to love your Co-Workers
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) This is the SECOND greatest commandment given to us by God. In the book of Matthew, when Jesus was asked by the Sadducees what the greatest commandment was, he replied that the first is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” We know that as Christians, we are called to love God above all else and to love those around us.. To most of us the commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself is relatively “easy” (for the most part) because our “neighbors” are our family members, our friends, our church family. For some that might be the extent of who we think of as neighbors. But what about that coworker that is hard to deal with every day of the work week? Are they rude? Do they curse? Are they different than you, and you just can’t seem to LOVE them or even like them?
This very commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself has been one that has challenged, grown, and encouraged me for the past two years more than ever before. Before I started my current job, I specifically prayed for un-saved co-workers, because I knew that most of my time would be spent at work, and I wanted to be purposeful with the people there. I have fallen short since then at fulfilling this task, but with my shortcomings have also come some of the sweetest opportunities to love and share the gospel with my co-worker’s. Here are just a few practical ways that helped encourage to live out this commandment to love my neighbor as myself.
1. Get to know your coworkers and maybe even become friends with them!
This is a fundamental way you can love them, actually getting to know them. If you are not a chatterbox, then this might be a challenging one, but remember this is NOT about you; this is about Jesus Christ and His Gospel! So ask questions to open up the conversation like, “How was your weekend?” If they say “good,” don’t just move on. Ask, “What was good about it?” They will be surprised and maybe even intrigued that you really care. Get to know what they are interested in. Maybe even do some research on it; find common ground with them and start building relationships.
2. Make time to hangout with your coworkers outside of work.
You can move onto this step once those relationships are established, or even use this as way to establish it further. If the office is doing something after work, try to go to it (of course, as long as it is not compromising anything in Scripture). My office has Bunco game nights, and those game nights have played key roles into opening up some really awesome Gospel sharing conversations for me with co-workers. If nothing like this happens in your office, YOU can plan something with co-workers. Go to the gym with them. Go on a hike. Go grab a coffee. This will play a big role in laying a foundation for a steady relationship where heart-to-heart conversations can take place.
3. Pray for your coworkers!
If I am honest, I didn’t really do this faithfully at my first office job until the end of my being there. Don’t wait to build relationships to do this. Pray for them even if you don’t know them. They won’t know you are praying for them, but you are loving them in this way. Pray for their salvation, for their hearts to be softened to the gospel. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with them. And when those opportunities come, take them! If you’re not confident that you know how to verbalize the gospel, practice it on yourself or a saved friend. If they share something that has been hard for them to deal with like a family member being sick, they are struggling financially, they have a rebellious child, they have health issues, tell them you will be praying for them in regards to those things and follow up with them! But remember to use those opportunities to share the most important thing that they need -- which is really how we show love to the lost -- and that is telling them the Good News of Jesus Christ! And in praying for them, especially for a coworker that is hard for you, your heart will soften to them as your heart becomes aligned with God’s heart for the lost.
God has proven His faithfulness and love to pursue us to the point of salvation, and he doesn’t stop there. Will you be faithful to pursue and love those unsaved coworkers you see every week?