David Murray asks:
What do you see when you look at your neighbor? Do you see his dodgy business dealings, his chaotic garage, his overgrown lawn, his marital tiffs, and his bad language?
Is that all you see? Is there nothing good you can think of?
What about the time he helped you start your car that icy morning? What about his devotion to his wife (despite their noisy arguments)? Or his kindness to your children? Or his heroic service in Operation Desert Storm?
Are these qualities not worth pondering and appreciating?
Now let’s get in the SUV and go to your workplace. Right, what do you see there?
A barking boss, cheating colleagues, complaining customers, and unreliable computers?
Is that all you see? I know it’s all you talk about when you come home every night. But are you seeing the whole picture? Is there no one with any skill or talent? Does everyone treat everyone like dirt every day? Are there no kind words or actions in the rest zone or staff room? Think of all that the machines and computers do accomplish each day. Do customers never express appreciation?
David wants us to do something different so he writes,
I don’t want to deny or downplay sin and its terrible impact on our world and its people, on our neighbors and family. However, if all we see in these areas is sin and misery, we’re closing our eyes to God’s work of grace all over the world and all around us. Yes, God’s common grace is really that common; it extends to all places and all people. There’s no inch or milimeter, tribe or people, neighbor or son, where His grace is not found to some degree.
If we do shut out common grace we’re also shutting down worship and joy, because the more we recognize God’s common grace, the more we will worship God and the more joy we will have in our lives. Common grace produces common worship and common joy. It will change the way we look at everyone and everyplace. Instead of just looking for evidence of sin, usually not hard to find, we will also look for evidence of God’s work, and rejoice in it. We will be less suspicious and cynical, more open to beauty, more enthusiastic to praise and appreciate God and His works.
Seriously ask yourself, challenge yourself, are you seeing the whole picture? Or are you overlooking or ignoring a number of benefits and blessings in your workplace?
There’s a lot more in David’s article “God’s Everywhere Grace” in which he explains his reason for wanting to change the way we talk about and look for common grace