Category Archives: Activated

Activated

A Tale of Two Brothers

Author unknown

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According to legend, there was once an abbey which had a very generous abbot. No beggar was ever turned away, and he gave all he could to the needy. The strange thing was that the more he gave away, the richer the abbey seemed to become.

When the old abbot died, he was replaced by a new one with exactly the opposite nature. One day an elderly man arrived at the monastery, saying that he had stayed there years before, and was seeking shelter again.

“Our monastery cannot provide for strangers like it used to when we were wealthy,” the abbot said. “No one seems to make gifts towards our work nowadays.”

“Ah, well,” said the stranger, “I think that is because you banished two brothers from the monastery.”

“I don’t think we ever did that,” said the puzzled abbot.

“Oh, yes,” was the reply. “They were twins. One was called ‘Give’ and the other, ‘It will be given to you.’ (See Luke 6:38) You banished ‘Give,’ so his brother decided to go as well.”

 

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Freely you have received, freely give.
—Jesus, Matthew 10:8

 
I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.
—Joyce Meyer (b. 1943)

 
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition.
—Martha Washington (1731–1802)

 
The more you give, the more comes back to you, because God is the greatest giver in the universe, and He won’t let you outgive Him. Go ahead and try. See what happens.
—Randy Alcorn (b. 1954)

 
In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to outgive God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I have given.
—Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

 
 

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Activated

Points to Ponder: The Peace of God

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Inner peace

 
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:7

 
If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.
—John Bunyan (1628–1688)

 
Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.
—Unknown

 
Our daily lives can easily become filled with stress, pressure, and confusion. But we can stop at any moment and slip away into the presence of God’s Spirit through prayer and meditation, and there find peace and refreshing.
—Mottos for Success

 

Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.
—Edith Willis Linn Forbes (1865–1945)

 
Jesus lay in the boat sleeping. The waves rose, the wind blew and the storm battered the small vessel about. His disciples were afraid: afraid of the wind, afraid of the waves and fearful for their lives. They came to Jesus, woke Him up, begging for His help. The answer lay in His power. He said, “Peace, be still,” and there was peace. The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (See Mark 4:35–41) No matter the turmoil of our life, we too can find peace if we turn to Jesus for His help.
—Marge Banks

 
Let My Spirit rest upon you and fill you with peace. Let My Spirit flow through your thoughts, mingle with your spirit, and give you strength.
—Jesus

 
Peace with those around us

 
Live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
—2 Corinthians 13:11

 
All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.
—Thomas à Kempis (1380–1471)

 
All works of love are works of peace. … Peace begins with a smile.
—Mother Teresa (1910–1997)

 
Jesus gave us the key to happiness and harmony when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) And remember, “neighbor” doesn’t only mean the one who lives next door; your neighbor is anyone He brings across your path.

When people don’t treat others with much love, of course they’re going to have problems. In fact, many of the evils in the world today can be traced back to people’s lack of love for God and one another. The simple love of God and one’s neighbors is still God’s solution, even in such a highly complex and confused society as ours. If we love God, we can love others, and follow His rules of life, liberty, and the possession of happiness.

—David Brandt Berg (1919–1994)

 
Sometimes it can be difficult to do the right thing, especially when the person you’re dealing with hasn’t done right to you, but I didn’t say, “Do to others as they do to you.” My code for living is far above that normal perception of fairness. I want you to live on a higher plane. Anyone can be nice to those who are nice, but the person who can be nice to those who aren’t is the bigger person and more blessed by Me.
—Jesus

 
Peace in a world of conflict

 
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
—Matthew 5:9 KJV

 
We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
—William E. Gladstone (1809–1898)

 
Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely an absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.
—Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964)

 
Pray for those who are touched by war at this very moment. They need your prayers, and each one needs Me, the Prince of Peace.
—Jesus

 
Peace with God

 
Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—Romans 5:1

 
“In the fear [reverence] of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26) This place of refuge is promised to all believers, yet so few venture therein. I say unto you, come aside, My dear one. Come under My wings, into My place of refuge, that you may experience My love and My peace.
—Jesus

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You can have God’s peace in your own heart by inviting His Son, Jesus, to come in. He says, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” (Revelation 3:20 NIV)

Dear Jesus, please come into my life and give me Your peace. Forgive me for the wrong things I’ve done, and help me get to know You better and share You with others. Amen.

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

Stressed Out

By Marie Story

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I have a six-year-old nephew who loves video games. The other day I was sitting with him while he was playing a racing game on his Wii. The levels were getting progressively more difficult, the speed was faster, and the courses were more hazardous. I could see him becoming more and more stressed—his face was turning red, his hands were getting sweaty, and he couldn’t stay in his seat.

Finally, it got to be too much for him. He burst into tears and yelled, “I can’t take it anymore! I’m just too stressed out!” All of a sudden, this game that he had been enjoying became sheer misery. I had a little chuckle at his dramatic outburst, then turned off the TV for a bit so he could take a break.

The very next day, I felt like yelling too. Several big projects came in at once, and deadlines were tight. I usually enjoy my work, but I felt the pressure building up and I wanted to yell, “I just can’t take it anymore!” I didn’t burst into tears, and I didn’t throw a tantrum, but I sure did feel like it.

Stress is the body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental, or emotional response. Life is a delicate balance, and while some stress is natural and can be healthy, too much pressure in any area can produce negative effects, such as trouble sleeping, withdrawal, emotional instability, and health issues. The longer you wait and allow it to build, the more hazardous it can be.

So what are some ways to deal with stress? Well, stress isn’t a new development—it’s a problem that’s been around for ages. Because of that, the Bible is full of solutions. Here are some important ones:

 
Talk with someone

The apostle Paul tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2 ESV) Others may not be able to solve your problem, but often just being able to unload your troubles to a listening ear can be a tremendous relief. And many times, once you’ve talked it out, your problems don’t seem so formidable anymore and you can tackle them without feeling stressed or overloaded.

 
Break down goals into smaller chunks

If we’re under too much pressure, it could be because we’re trying to tackle too much at once. Jesus tells us that His yoke (or workload) is easy, and His burden is light. (See Matthew 11:28–30) So if your burden is too heavy, maybe you need to set some of it down for a while.

 
Set realistic goals

If you or others can’t meet your expectations, maybe you haven’t thought them through enough. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it?” (Luke 14:28 CEV)

 
Focus on things you can control

Jesus tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” (Matthew 6:34 NLT) There’s enough to think about today without stressing over stuff in the future. And “tomorrow” isn’t just talking about the day after today—it means anything you don’t have control over. If you can’t do anything about it, just trust that God will help you handle it when the time comes.

 
Take care of yourself physically

Often when everything’s piling up, personal care is the first thing you cut out. But that’s the opposite of what you should be doing. If you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising, you’ll feel better physically, which will help you to face challenges with more confidence and energy. Paul explained: “You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. … So use your body to honor God.” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20 CEV)

 
Take breaks

Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “a cheerful heart is good medicine.” Sometimes all you need when you’re stressed is a little break. Taking time to rest and relax will help to clear your head, and you’ll come back to your task refreshed, happier, and more focused.

 
Take time with Jesus each day

Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

King David, who faced extreme stress in his life, advises us: “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV) Peter also tells us to “cast all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV) Talk to Jesus about your troubles and ask Him for His solutions and advice. He has promised an easy yoke, so if yours is too heavy, He can show you how to lighten it.

Remember that Jesus understands the pressures you’re facing. “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are.” (Hebrews 4:15 NASB) As you take your cares and concerns to Jesus, He’ll give you the strength to handle each task and responsibility—without getting stressed.

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

Joy, Fulfillment, Happiness

By Peter Amsterdam, adapted

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We all have many opportunities and possibilities to move forward in our faith, our relationships, our work, our inner lives, and more. Of course, making progress in any area requires determination, discipline, effort, sacrifice, and hard work, but the results are worth it.

I believe that joy, fulfillment, and happiness are intrinsically connected to being strongly attached to God. This doesn’t mean that we are focused on God alone, that we are on our knees praying during all our waking hours, or that we’re “so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good,” as the saying goes. We each have God-given responsibilities that need to be attended to. We’re to care for ourselves and our family and loved ones, and to fulfill the duties of our work or calling, all of which involve a myriad of details each day.

Living a life that is strongly attached to God is living a life in relationship with Him. It’s inviting Him into the daily details of our lives, our responsibilities, our family, our relationships with friends and coworkers. It’s allowing Him to be an integral part of our lives.

It’s in this interactive relationship with God that we find joy, fulfillment, and happiness. When we live in partnership with Him, we let Him use us for His purpose, and doing so places us in the path of His blessings.

Unfortunately, however, we may often find ourselves on “autopilot” in our relationship with God, where we go about our lives with Him seemingly hovering in the background. He’s there, and when we feel the need for Him, we ask for His help or guidance. But that’s not the kind of relationship that allows Him to have the role He desires in our lives. He’s not our “cosmic bellhop,” at our beck and call to clean up our messes or make our wishes materialize. He wants—and deserves—to be an active partner in the business of our lives, and the more we partner with Him, the more we benefit from that partnership.

A key component in this partnership is being available to Him and for Him. To Him, in the sense of being sensitive to when He wants to communicate with us, and being available to listen to what He has to say. For Him, in the sense that we open ourselves to being agents of His purpose in the lives of others, acting as a means for Him to communicate with others who aren’t yet in relationship with Him.

Making ourselves available to God requires intentionality on our part. We consciously decide that we’re going to be attuned to God, that we will give Him opportunity to communicate with us—by making time for Him, by seeking out a quiet place, and quieting our inner selves so that we are in the right frame of mind to listen to Him. We make ourselves spiritually available to hear whatever He may want to say to us or show us. We also make ourselves available in a practical sense by being determined to let His Spirit use us as His representatives to others. It’s through our lives, our love, our examples, our words and witness, that others can be introduced to Him and brought into the orbit of His love.

Our spiritual and practical availability is our declaration to God that He is a full partner in our lives and we want His involvement in all we do. It’s an open invitation for the Holy Spirit to not just dwell within us but to actively engage in our thoughts and actions. Of course, such an invitation has repercussions. When God’s Spirit connects with those who have made themselves available, the Spirit moves in their lives. Things happen, opportunities arise.

When we’ve truly made ourselves available to Him, we are open to receive His guidance and direction. When we are available for Him, we follow His leading, as He directs us in ways which are in alignment with His purpose, where He can use our gifts and talents to be a blessing to others—whether our personal family, those we work with, or complete strangers. While being open to and accepting whatever guidance He may give might not always immediately result in the outcomes we are hoping for, it does put us on the path to fulfilling the purpose He intends.

Making ourselves available to and for God is a manifestation of His reign in our lives. It’s the application of what Jesus expressed when He said to pray, “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NLT) Our availability aligns us with God’s will, reign, and Spirit. It’s within this alignment with our God, Creator, and Savior that we find satisfaction and experience well-being and contentment.

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

The Most Unlikely to Succeed

By Scott MacGregor

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“Disciple Making: Training Leaders to Make Disciples,” (© 1994 by Billy Graham Center Institute of Evangelism) cites an imaginary report to Jesus from the Jordan Management Consultant firm in Jerusalem, detailing its findings on the twelve men He had submitted for evaluation.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for management positions in your new organization. …

It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in the background, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. … We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John … place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel it is our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus definitely have radical leanings and they both registered high on the manic depressive scale.

One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man.

Isn’t that just about right? I thought ironically, and then it occurred to me that a similar appraisal could have been made of a number of other Bible characters:

Look at the guy who was supposed to lead the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land! Moses was raised in the royal household with all the advantages that money and education could buy, but then he tossed it all down the drain, became a fugitive, and ended up as a sheepherder in the desert, where he resided until he was 80—an obvious has-been.

Then there’s David, the youngest brother in a large family—which in itself isn’t a great start. Even after being tipped by the prophet Samuel as Israel’s next king, he went right back to herding sheep, so it was a bit of an anticlimax. (See 1 Samuel 16) The next chapter sees him promoted to being a lunch delivery boy and getting caught up in a fight with a fellow who is about 10 feet tall—and heavily armed. David elects to toss rocks at him and lands a lucky one. (See 1 Samuel 17) But then he goes off to become an outlaw, heading up the biggest gang in the country (See 1 Samuel 22) and eventually selling his gang’s services as mercenaries to an aggressive neighboring nation. When that stops working out, he starts a civil war in his own country. (See 2 Samuel 3:1)

Time goes on, and eventually David does become king, but in the end one of his sons deposes him and he has to hare out of the capital until his nephew comes to his rescue. (See 2 Samuel 15–18)

David’s heir, Solomon, readily confesses he doesn’t even know how to speak in front of the people he’s supposed to rule. (See 1 Kings 3) God takes up the slack and gives Solomon the smarts, which helps him rule but doesn’t seem to extend to his family life. Solomon ends up with 1,000 wives and concubines, whom he is so preoccupied with keeping happy that the country starts going downhill. (See 1 Kings 11)

Imagine what the evaluators mentioned above would make of these characters. Would probably go something like this:

Moses: “Too long in the tooth to be of much use at this stage in his career. He had a lot going for him originally, but he got into criminal activity—severe midlife crisis?—and skipped town. Spent 40 years in his wife’s family business but doesn’t seem to have shown much leadership ability even there. We recommend someone younger.”

David: “Kid with an attitude. Puts more effort into his music than his career. Has already been a gang leader, traitor, and mercenary. We recommend someone less volatile.”

Solomon: “Young and inexperienced. Not a good communicator and shows a weakness for wild living. Likely to overspend and deplete resources on grandiose building projects. We recommend someone less inclined to vanity projects and with better self-control.”

So there you have it! The apostles weren’t alone in being unlikely to succeed. Of course, all the apostles with the exception of Judas succeeded wildly, whereas the managerial consultants’ favorite—Judas—turned out to be a bitter disappointment.

So what does this tell us? Well, for one, it’s encouraging to know that those who will end up the greatest successes are not necessarily the ones you might think. And for those of us who want to find success in our own ventures, God’s Word gives us the secret: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3 NIV)

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

The Wise and Unwise Leader

By David Brandt Berg, adapted

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A good executive is not a boss—he is a servant! Jesus wasn’t just trying to teach His disciples humility when He said, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26) A good executive simply is not a dictator. He listens to his employees. When the top people don’t communicate with those under them, then of course they don’t understand them or their problems. When that happens, they’re headed for trouble!

Leaders at any level should listen to those they lead. Leaders are responsible to make the final decision, but being a leader does not mean that you have all the ideas and do all the thinking and all the consulting just within yourself. A good executive will listen to others.

When it comes to plans, goals, motivation, and other overall aspects of the work, the leaders are supposed to be skilled or they shouldn’t be the leaders. But when it comes to practical matters, leaders ought to listen to others who may know more about it than they do. A good leader will listen to his workers’ suggestions, discuss, agree with them on a course of action, and then leave them alone to carry out the work, just monitoring the progress. The executive’s job is really mostly to keep things moving, while others recommend, initiate, and by all means carry out the various actions.

Nearly every CEO or president is surrounded by counselors that advise him on what to do. Did you know that even God works that way? He calls in His chief counselors and angels and asks them, “What do you think we should do about this?” He listens to their suggestions and then has the wisdom to know who is right. (See 1 Kings 22:19–22; Job 1:6–12) And God not only listens to His heavenly counselors and angels, but don’t forget, He even listens to us when we pray.

If God Himself won’t do all the thinking for us, then who are we to try to make all the decisions, do all the thinking, give all the instructions, and carry them all out besides? A leader just can’t operate alone!

Only a novice, only a brand-new, not-yet-dry-behind-the-ears junior executive tries to run everything and tell everybody what to do. Any smart executive is going to pump people power. He is not going to try to be the pump, or the pump handle, or the water, or the bucket. Instead, he’s going to be the guiding hand that takes hold of the handle and pumps to create a lively discussion so he and all concerned can benefit from others’ ideas and experience.

A wise leader will try to keep others happy, because people do a better job when they are happy and doing work they like to do and want to do. If you’re going to have an effective team, the members need to work together, listen to each other, counsel together, decide together, and then follow through together.

As in the human body, you can’t say that you have no need of even one little member. You need every fingernail, every cell, as well as every organ and every limb. (See 1 Corinthians 12:14–17) Everybody is important, from the most insignificant to the seemingly most important. Everyone has their job, everyone is needed, and all must work together in harmony and cooperation.

Talk together, discuss together, counsel together, agree together, decide together, do together, care together, grow together, work together, and enjoy the fruits of your labors together. Then you’ll be a wise leader and a good executive.

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The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.
—John Stott (1921–2011)

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Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve.
—Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

10 Tips for Excelling at Work

By Tina Kapp

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We build our work with our attitudes and actions day by day. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind if we want to excel in our jobs.

 
1. Volunteer. In the old folk tale of the Little Red Hen, she wanted to bake a loaf of bread, so she asked the animals in the barnyard to help her gather the wheat, but everyone was suddenly too busy and unavailable, so she did it herself. Later, she asked who would help her grind the wheat into flour, but everyone was too busy. Then she asked who could help her sift the flour and mix the ingredients; again, everyone was too busy to help. After requesting help several times, she ended up doing all the work herself. As a result, though, the animals missed out on the reward of enjoying the loaf.

Let’s not be like them. If your boss and coworkers know you can be counted on to take the extra step when the need arises, they’ll come to depend on your reliability and willingness to get things done. Showing initiative leads to increased trust, rewards, and responsibility.

In the Bible, David volunteered to fight the giant Goliath, which saved the day and gained him favor with King Saul. Another example is Isaiah volunteering to be a messenger for God by saying, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

 
2. Get the details right. Attention to detail says a lot about a person. If you can’t be bothered to spell a word (or a name) correctly or get your facts right, those around you will assume you can’t be bothered to get other things right either. Jesus said: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” (Luke 16:10 NIV)

If you go into a bathroom in a restaurant and it’s dirty, it might make you worry that the kitchen is also dirty, and you may decide to eat somewhere else instead. Even if it just happened to be a sloppy job that one day, it can still have a bad effect on the business’ reputation.

Regardless of the task, personal attention to detail shows that people can rely on you to get things done correctly and that you’ll go the extra mile to do it right.

The book of Proverbs says, “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” (Proverbs 10:4 NLT)

 
3. Avoid gossip. Paul warned the Ephesians, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)

Gossiping may seem innocent, but words have a way of coming back to bite you. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, it’s probably not a good idea to say it to others. The classical Greek philosopher Socrates, credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, reportedly said: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.”

 
4. Be reliable. Your boss is counting on you, and unless you’re actually sick, playing hooky to skip out on work will let him and your coworkers down. You might get away with pretending to be sick to get off work, but people will come to see you as someone who often drops the ball, leaving them to pick up the pieces.

Paul said to the Thessalonians, “We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge … to settle down and earn the food they eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:11–12 NIV) According to one reference, the original Greek translation of “disruptive” meant playing hooky.

 
5. Never do nothing. Rather than wasting time when you’ve finished your task, take a look around at what else needs to be done.

Jeroboam in the Bible was a shining example of this. When King Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph. (See 1 Kings 11:28) You can bet that didn’t come from him sitting around and slacking off every chance he got.

 
6. Be nice. This is a huge topic, and some aspects may seem obvious, but it covers everything from having good manners to being polite to the janitor or that slightly annoying coworker. The way you treat others will affect the way people see you. People who are polite and easy to work with end up with more references, contacts, and friends.

It also majorly impacts your ability to do business. Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People explains how kindness and showing genuine interest in others have often been the keys to business success. His book has a great collection of stories about successful people who were interested in others and used kindness in business.

One of my favorites is about a businessman named Mr. Duvernoy, who wanted to be the bread supplier to a certain New York hotel. He tried to get an appointment to present his products to the manager every week for years, but was unsuccessful even with that.

After learning about positive human relations, he decided to put them to the test. He found out that the manager was part of the Hotel Greeters of America Society and was so passionate about it that he attended every convention and event and even ran for its presidency.

The next time Mr. Duvernoy met the hotel manager, he brought up this society. The manager, who obviously loved the subject, spent half an hour talking about it. “In the meantime, I had said nothing about bread,” recalled Mr. Duvernoy. “But a few days later, the steward of his hotel phoned me to come over with samples and prices. ‘I don’t know what you did to the old boy,’ the steward greeted me, ‘but he sure is sold on you!’”

Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

 
7. Ask for feedback. In an article I read, there was a suggestion to check in with your boss or team every so often about how you’re doing and ask how you could improve. This shows you’re focused and take your work seriously.

If the apostle Paul were writing today, he would probably say something like, “Employees, obey your earthly bosses with respect and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5, paraphrased) The way you conduct yourself, your interactions with coworkers and your boss, says a lot about you as a person and affects your example as a Christian.

King David of the Bible was always praying about ways he could improve. In Psalms he says, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me.” (Psalm 25:4–5 NIV)

Moses also checked in with God regularly: “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Exodus 33:13 NIV)

 
8. Don’t rush into office romances. This is not a hard-and-fast rule—although different companies have their own policies, so it’s important to know and follow them—but experts often recommend keeping romance away from the workplace.

Relationships and friendships are wonderful, but always keep your goals in mind, and don’t let other things distract you.

 
9. Look professional. How you look and dress reflects either well or poorly on the company you work for or the service you perform. Some jobs have a dress code; if yours doesn’t, take cues from respected individuals at your work. Imagine getting stuck in the elevator with the company’s CEO, and dress for that possibility every single day. This is even more important when at a job interview, as first impressions are so important.

While the Bible is clear that God is more interested in what is in our hearts, it also cautions us that “people judge others by what they look like.” (1 Samuel 16:7 CEV) Make sure your appearance serves you well and shows respect for the position you have or want.

 
10. Show appreciation. If someone does their job well, say so. If someone helps you out, thank them. Saying nice things about others behind their back is also a wonderful thing to do, because if it gets back to the person, it often means more than the nice things you could say directly to them.

With the fast pace of today’s world, it’s easy to forget the value of a few simple words. Just taking a few minutes to acknowledge those you work with and their contributions will go a long way in making them feel appreciated.

Dale Carnegie wrote: “You don’t have to wait … before you use this philosophy of appreciation. You can work magic with it almost every day.”

Making your colleagues feel appreciated and important is the key to success and everyone working together happily. It may seem to be a small thing, but it gets big results.

 
 

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