The Christian Public Servant – “created to be like God”

 

created to be like God1

June 15, 2018 – Friday

Reading

Ephesians 4:24 [NLT] Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Reflection

When I was still pretty new to death row, a brother asked me to do something for him – something that would have gotten me into trouble. I said no, but he kept pressuring me and, at times, threatening me. I still said no, because I was on my Walk.

My bible says I was created to be like God. Before I started my Walk, I had no idea what that meant. I was too busy creating myself – unrighteous and unholy. But then I started to read scripture and found I have a new nature, a nature He created, and my new nature is truly righteous and holy.

So I kept telling this brother, no. And finally, he saw my new nature. Not my old nature of selfishness. I wasn’t saying “no” because there was nothing in it for me or I might get into trouble. I kept saying “no” because what this brother wanted was not righteous or holy. And guess what? This brother finally caught on. He saw I had changed my clothes. I had put on a new nature, created to be like God. And my new nature helped that brother begin his Walk.

Where you work, it must be different than here. Still, you may be asked to do things or say things or write things that are not truly righteous and holy. You might not end up where I am, but you may get into trouble if your boss or the public finds out. You might get into trouble if only your kids or spouse finds out.

Today at work, remember you are created to be like God. You are a new person-in-Christ, reborn each morning you wake – just in time to do His business in your work. And if someone asks you to do wrong, address him with your new nature. Show that person how to be truly righteous and holy. Show him how he, too, is created to be like God.

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Continue to help me reflect You so others can experience Your righteousness and holiness. Amen.

Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
death row
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA

The Christian Public Servant – “even if you are in the right”

borrower1

June 14, 2018 – Thursday

Reading

James 2:2-4 [NKJV] For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

Reflection

Coworkers, in another work unit in my building, are borrowers. They borrow a lot of stuff from my work unit. And nothing is returned. When asked to return things, it is always a seemingly “never” process. And members of my work unit get upset. After all, the borrowed stuff comes from our budget, and we never get things back. So, I sent another email requesting stuff back, but this time I copied our collective supervisor. Now the other work unit screamed? Why did you get us into trouble? And they talked about going straight to the top about my complaint.

Scripture calls us to be understanding of content – even in the workplace – even if you are right. Just because my work unit budgeted better than did the borrowers, this does not mean I need to get them into trouble. And, regardless of workplace, scripture requires you and me to view others without partiality. We are not to become judges with evil thoughts. So, even at work, it is not about who has what, when, and where. We should not make a political game out of a needy situation.

Today at work, hold off getting even – even if you are in the right. Do not attack. Treat others without partiality. Withhold judging with evil thoughts. After all, someday you may be the borrower, and then what?

Yes, today hold off getting even – even if you are in the right.

Prayer

God, You are the creator of everything and everyone. Please give me eyes to see, wisdom to know, and the strength to do something special for my coworkers today, especially those who are needy in other departments. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Doug Meyer
District Engineer
Office of Drinking Water
Virginia Department of Health
Richmond, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “in the darkness of bigotry”

 

darkness of bigotry1

June 13, 2018 – Wednesday

Reading

Luke 6:27(a) [NIV] But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies

1 John 2:11 [NIV] But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Reflection

I’ve heard about racism, but I never dealt with it. That is, until I took this job. One day a coworker remarked in the breakroom, “She gets away with everything because she’s black.” On another day in the parking lot, someone announced, “Don’t expect a promotion if you’re white.”

I was shocked to hear all this, and more. When I asked if such remarks are reported, a coworker apologetically said it would be a waste of time since racism is overlooked.

Scripture tells us to treat everyone the same. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead of putting down others for their skin color, how they dress, or anything else, we are to love each other – including our enemy. We are not to walk in the darkness of bigotry.

Does racism appear in your workplace? Anger? Tribalism? Desire to get even? Are there sounds of walking in the darkness of bigotry?

Today at work, don’t’ let that darkness blind you. Love all, including those you do not like.

Or, are you not listening to Him?

Prayer

Lord, provide me with knowledge and wisdom to handle racism in my workplace. Teach me to treat others as You treat me. Help me shine Your light on those walking in the darkness of bigotry. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Elizabeth Riddle
MPA candidate
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “impart grace to the hearers”

gossiping in a breakroom1

June,12, 2018 – Tuesday

Reading

Ephesians 4:29 [NKJV] Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Reflection

Sitting in the breakroom, a coworker cursed and told a story about someone in another department. It was not the first time that day I heard vulgar words and rumors. After all, gossip is the common language at my workplace, and crude conversation is the currency that drives the breakroom. Dirty jokes seem just the frosting on the cake.

Scripture reminds us to keep corrupt words from pouring out of our months. We are to say nothing that does not impart grace to the hearers.

Does this happen where you work? Do people have few filters and say whatever comes to mind? Keeping your mouth free from corruption is no easy task, but it is necessary if your words will be uplifting to those within earshot.

Today at work, join me in taking a stand against gossip, dirty jokes, and vulgar language. Like mine, your employee handbook probably has rules against that kind of talk. Have courage to use the handbook. But even more importantly, have courage to be a Christian at work. Find ways to show others how to impart grace to the hearers. Find ways to frown upon anything less.

Prayer

Father, thank You for watching my words. By Your spirit, help me avoid the temptation to participate in conversations that are not upbuilding to those who are listening. At work today, may my words be gracious, good, and edifying. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Courtney Payton
Director of Student Finance
Hattiesburg, Mississippi USA
and MPA Candidate
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “in His due time”

In His due time1
June 11, 2018 – Monday

Readings 

1 Peter 5:6 [NIV] Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Reflection 

Last month I applied for a supervisor’s position where I work. I thought my record was sufficient and, frankly, I knew I was more qualified than another coworker applying for the job. So, I asked God to give me the job. A few weeks later, I found out I was not selected for the position. That other coworker, with less experience than me, got the job. And I was disappointed.

Scripture reminds us to trust in God’s mighty hand. We are to humble ourselves and know He will choose the time to lift us up. As hard as it is to bear, it will happen in His due time, not yours or mine.

Have you ever been turned down for a promotion or a new job? I know, it hurts.

At work today, humble yourself. Trust He may lift you today, or perhaps tomorrow. Understand hard work will lead to being lifted – just not in your time, but in His due time.

Prayer 

Lord, thank You for leading me in Your will. I wait humbly for Your time, not mine. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Marleigha Evans 
MPA Candidate 
Belhaven University 
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “in His due time”

In His due time1
June 11, 2018 – Monday

Readings 

1 Peter 5:6 [NIV] Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Reflection 

Last month I applied for a supervisor’s position where I work. I thought my record was sufficient and, frankly, I knew I was more qualified than another coworker applying for the job. So, I asked God to give me the job. A few weeks later, I found out I was not selected for the position. That other coworker, with less experience than me, got the job. And I was disappointed.

Scripture reminds us to trust in God’s mighty hand. We are to humble ourselves and know He will choose the time to lift us up. As hard as it is to bear, it will happen in His due time, not yours or mine.

Have you ever been turned down for a promotion or a new job? I know, it hurts.

At work today, humble yourself. Trust He may lift you today, or perhaps tomorrow. Understand hard work will lead to being lifted – just not in your time, but in His due time.

Prayer 

Lord, thank You for leading me in Your will. I wait humbly for Your time, not mine. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Marleigha Evans 
MPA Candidate 
Belhaven University 
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – SUICIDE – “speak from the heart”

suicide1

June 8, 2018 – Friday

Reading

2 Samuel 17: 23 [NIV] When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.

Matthew 12:34 [NIV] You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Reflection

A brother committed suicide. He waited for the weekend because fewer correctional officers were on duty. He waited until the brothers in cells around him were asleep. He waited just long enough before the 2 am pill call so a correctional officer would find his body before the rest of us awoke. He did not have enough room to hang with his feet off the floor. He must have tied the bed sheet to the bars and leaned forward so eventually he suffocated from his own pressure against his throat.

He was a member of our Life Row church, and he mentioned to several brothers he wanted to kill himself. Having been on death row for 23 years, he was tired and had lost hope. And no one helped him. We were caught up in ourselves. We did not listen. We chose not to speak from the heart. And we are all saddened and ashamed.

Scripture talks about suicide and lost hope. Yet Christ reminds you and me not to be caught up in ourselves. He reminds us, good must come from us – if we are not to be a brood of vipers. Jesus teaches, whatever comes out of our mouths reflects what is in our heart. And when nothing comes out of our mouths, that also reflects what is in our hearts.

Today at work, listen to the heart of those who come into your life. God sends so many people your way. Loved-ones and friends before and after work. Strangers along your way to and from work. People at lunchtime. Coworkers. Those you serve. Do you hear soul-drenching tiredness? Do you hear bone-deep lost hope? Do you hear the word “suicide” or wanting to “end it all?” Will you be so busy not to speak from the heart?

On this day, listen. See with spiritual eyes. And speak from the heart. Let only good come out of your mouth.

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Keep me focused on what the heart of another says. Help me speak from the heart You placed in me. Let only good come out of my mouth. I want to help anyone overcome wrong thoughts. Amen.

Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
death row
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA