Bring Your Whole Self To Work

Guest Author

Denise Lee Yohn

Faith & Work Journey

If you’re going to bring your whole self to work, that should include your faith. 

Mike Robbins, author of Bring Your Whole Self to Work, says that bringing your whole self means being able “to fully show up” and “allow ourselves to be truly seen” in the workplace. As Christians, our faith is core to our identity – so we can’t really show up and allow ourselves to be seen if we don’t bring our faith to work.

That doesn’t mean we have to go around loudly announcing that we are Christians. Nor do we need to obsess over sharing our faith with our colleagues. But bringing our faith to work does mean being honest and authentic about our beliefs and making our identity as Christians clear when opportunities arise.

Develop Trust

We need to bring our faith to work because we need to develop trust with the people we work with. When we withhold key information about ourselves, we put up a barrier that detracts from that trust. I’ve found that people would rather know the truth about who I am than only engage with me at a surface level. And, if I share about my identity in the right way, they appreciate my transparency.

Lead Authentically

Plus, if we are in a leadership position, being clear about our values makes us a more effective leader.  In a recent piece for the Harvard Business Review, leadership expert Adam Bryant explains that people want to know who their leaders are and what they care about.  He says, “You want to be predictable in the best sense of the word: someone whose values are unwavering and clear."  As Christians, we value servanthood, humility, integrity, and love.  If these values inform our leadership – and they should, right?! – then we should feel comfortable sharing about the ways they do.  

Bless Others

And, bringing your faith to work is a great blessing to other Christians in your workplace.  Christ-followers need to know they’re not the only ones at their work – they’re not alone.  When you open up about your faith, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover colleagues who are Christians too.  And when you discover you have a common faith, you can agree to pray for and lend a sympathetic ear to each other and support each other as you live out your faith at work.

Exercise Discretion 

Bringing our faith to work requires wisdom and discretion.  We need to pick the right times and situations to share, as well as the right ways.  We want to be sure that we do so in a way that creates a fragrant aroma, as 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 teaches us.  When we identify as Christians with humility, gentleness, and openness, people may actually want to know more about us and our faith.  Remember, we are to be salt (Matthew 5:13), not vinegar – so our interactions should always convey a pleasant flavor.

But still, bringing our whole selves to work may not always be well-received.  Employers have a responsibility to create a psychologically safe environment for employees, but many don’t.  So, being transparent requires taking some risks.  But we can’t keep our faith hidden if we want to work with integrity and develop authentic relationships with our co-workers.  And, as Christians, we have a greater source of security in our Heavenly Father who cares for us (1 Peter 5.6-7) and is with us in times of trial (Isaiah 43:2) – and we can draw upon the power (2 Timothy 1:7) and comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) of the Holy Spirit.

So, we should be bold and courageous and bring our faith to our work!

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  • “Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it when it is in your power to do so.”
    Proverbs 3:27

  • “Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.”
    Philippians 2:4