Dear Aunt Dara
My coworkers at the plant where I work have been tormenting me ever since they discovered that I am a Christian and I do not participate in the things that they like to do. They drink, smoke, cuss up a storm, and cheat on their wives. They tease me because I do not go out to drink with them after work. They think that my commitment to my wife is old-fashioned. They never seem to miss an opportunity to mock me because I do not use the same foul language that they do. They think I’m crazy because I don’t buy lottery tickets when the jackpot gets high. I always seem to be the butt of their jokes, and it’s starting to really bother me. I’ve been praying and trying my best to find another job. So far I have had interviews at seven different places in the last year, but just when it seems promising that I’ll get hired, something happens at the last minute and the position either gets eliminated or there’s a hiring freeze. I’m not happy being stuck where I am. What more can I do? What does God expect of me? Why doesn’t He answer my prayer for another job?
Christian Husband and Father
Dear Christian Husband and Father,
What can you do? You can praise God that you have been placed in a position where you are able to be salt and light to people who are living in darkness—people who need to know the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! Someday, one or more of your coworkers will be hurting and in need of God’s love and forgiveness. When that happens, they will remember you and will seek the inner peace and freedom in Christ that you have demonstrated to them. Make no mistake. They are watching you closely. You have what they want and need. They just don’t fully realize it yet. Their teasing and tormenting you indicates that they know that their lifestyle is wrong. Therefore, they make you the object of jokes to reduce their own sense of guilt and to soothe their conscience. Plus, they are participating in a pack mentality that gives them the boldness to attack you with the support of their allies. Remember, however, that Jesus said that we would have trouble in this life (John 16:33) and that we would be persecuted (John 15: 20). Jesus also said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). The Apostle Peter wrote, “But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God” (I Peter 2:20).
I know that you would like to get another job, and perhaps someday you will. In the meantime, however, trust that you are just where God wants you to be at this time and pray that God will help you to patiently endure the hurtful things that your coworkers say.