by Bernard Lee
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23
As I reflected on this verse some years back, I realised that there was only one “boss” in my life, and that was God. This realization made it impossible for me to compartmentalise “God’s work” and “secular work”, as all of it became God’s work. I came to the conclusion that there should be no differentiation in my attitude and approach to the way I should live my family, professional and church life.
I used to meet up with a close colleague on Tuesday mornings to pray regularly. One of the things that was consistently in our prayer was that God would take the company and use it for His glory, and that many people would come to know of His saving grace through working in the company. This was a regular theme in our prayer for about five years.
One afternoon, I received a message that the company I was working for had just been sold! Thoughts of massive restructuring, consolidation and even the possibility of layoffs came to mind.
As the months passed, I was very concerned and fearful about my future role in the company (or if there was even going to be a role). During those days, it was a constant struggle to pray. Sometimes I did not know what words to say, and I had to pray in the Spirit. I knew that there was not much I could do, but that it was all in God’s hands. I was, however, greatly comforted by the following two verses:
Jeremiah 29:11-13 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.’
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
The new owners were a huge family-owned conglomerate. During the first meeting, I was surprised by how astute and wise they were. It was not long before the owners started talking about their role as stewards of the assets God had given them. I soon realised that they were Christians as well and that they were serious about using God’s Word to guide them in the conduct of their business. As the discussions unfolded over the following days, what hit me was that the prayers of my colleague and I were being answered before our very eyes. God had taken the company and given it to owners who loved God, and tried to serve Him in every aspect of their business!
I was eventually retained in the company (even though I later found out that the original plan was to eliminate my position), and my role was enlarged to provide technology strategy oversight for the entire group. Throughout the journey, I had to battle many doubts and fears and also resist the temptation to take things into my own hands. I learned that even with my very imperfect self, I must continue to serve Him using whatever talent He has given me across all areas of my life. I am even more convinced that God must continue to be in every aspect of our lives. In whatever we do, we work only for God.
Bernard Lee has been in COR since its founding. He has been in finance, strategy and technology for the last 25 years and likes innovation in all aspects of life from art to engineering to economics and governance.
This article first appeared in Issue 8, August 2013 CHORUS Magazine.