By Emma Peel
We aren’t who they think we are, and it’s your job to show them that.
After joining a company-sponsored book club that rapidly devolved into homeschool bashing and finding this posted publicly on a leader’s social media feed, I realized corporate America is exactly as unhinged as the conservatives warned us that it is. How does a young believer persist in an environment where Judeo-Christian values are the only ones permissible, if not encouraged, to mock? I will break it down for you.
Overcoming the Reservations of our own Brethren
Some factions of the Christian conservative movement disavow engagement in institutions that do not subscribe to biblical teaching. “Are you sure you really want to work there? Why not a more conservative company? Don’t stay there too long,” are a few scrutinies I have answered from well-meaning skeptics. While I may elect Benedict Option-esque childrearing, I am not convinced the strategy universally applies to vocation.
Christians have three choices for engaging in secular culture: conform, abstain, or redeem.
Believers are called to be the salt of the earth. If you grew up in Sunday school, you have heard it a hundred times: salt gives flavor, and salt preserves. There is a lot to unpack about the preservation quality. Is it the meat’s fault for spoiling? Isn’t that merely its natural state? Alas, it is the salt’s responsibility to prevent this. Before Christians condemn the devolution of society, we should ask ourselves if we have been salt in the places that rot without it.
Be Bold, Not a Martyr
Matthew 10:16 summarizes this point better than anything else, “I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” We are, indeed, sheep among wolves.
A shrewd serpent will observe everyone and research everything. Assume everyone is a progressive atheist until proven otherwise. Listen closely and share authentically. A shrewd serpent is bold and confident in knowing who made her. Don’t gloss over church activities when someone asks about your weekend, and don’t hide the conversation starting verse modestly displayed in your cube.
But please refrain from martyring yourself – some work is done more effectively alive than dead. Your co-worker should not know what party you vote for unless your lack of colored hair and tattoos is a giveaway. Your colleagues should be astonished if they hear you deviated from CDC Covid “recommendations” and aghast should they learn you voted not once – but twice – for the big, bad orange man.
You will not reach these people until you show them that a Christian conservative is not the unsavory, narrow-minded, knuckle-draggin’ redneck that the mainstream depicts us as.
Once you charm them, merely by displaying the fruits of the Spirit, you may be able to commence deeper discussions. You cannot accomplish meaningful work if you are a reckless martyr from day one.
Understand this is War
This is not a red state versus blue state or conservative versus progressive war. This is a spiritual battle, and we are all soldiers, whether we like it or not. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Your unsaved colleagues aren’t slipping away into an abyss of eternal nothingness; they are tumbling down the well-worn road to hell. Pray for them. Be light to them. Show them that a relationship with Jesus is not the useless or harmful “religion” they know it to be.
And if they hate you, pray for them, and be light to them. And know that this world hated Jesus first. If people could hate a perfect man, no wonder they hate us in all our glaring shortcomings. And, please, understand that non-Christians are not held to our standards. Show radical grace to the speck in your unbelieving corporate manager’s eye, and continue sawing away your own plank.
In this war, there are hills to die on. Decide them before you crest them. You will catch me freelance writing before you see a “she/her” in my email signature. Stand firm.
Can someone write a survival guide on how to do this? Oh, that’s right – that is the Bible! In a nation where we have ungratefully enjoyed abounding religious liberties, we have grown desensitized to the fact that the literal Word of God is accessible to us anywhere at any time. If you intend to minister to your corporate community and not be a miserable wretch at home, rest in Jesus and cling to your brothers and sisters in Christ.
I mean all of your brothers and sisters in Christ – even the Catholic ones. Or the Protestant ones. Even the ones who disagree with you on baby baptism. Or the one you avoid grunting “hello” to on Sundays. In this war, Christians have spent so much time splintering and infighting that we have forgotten who the enemy is. And that is precisely how he wants it.
Rest in the truth that if God wanted to save every employee at your woke corporation tomorrow, He could. You don’t need to take every soul over the finish line to salvation. “Planting a seed” can look like buying a Bible for a peer who has expressed interest in your faith. Or greeting by name your building’s security and maintenance workers, whom others have brushed past without so much as a friendly smile for decades.
If all you accomplish in your corporate America career is being the face someone remembers fondly the next time a manager brazenly denigrates Christian values, that is enough. We aren’t who they think we are, and it’s your job to show them that.
Put a rock in their shoe, and watch God do the rest.
P.S. If you have endured thus far, I trust you enough to tip you off to the dirty secret of Larry Fink and Klaus Schwab. Why is Corporate America – or anything – woke? Follow the money. Time to do your research, shrewd serpent!
About the Author
Emma Peel is a proud Grove City College alumna working in the financial services industry. Ms. Peel enjoys hiking, cooking, and hosting friends and family. When corporate America is too repugnant, she retreats to reading and writing about conservative virtues.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the writer alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grove City College, the Institute for Faith and Freedom, or their affiliates.