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Concern for having shared my beliefs incorrectly

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by Jane1000, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. Jane1000

    Jane1000 New Member

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    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    Hi everyone. I am a deputy manager in retail and had a really lovely conversation with one of our volunteers today. Within it however they opened up to me about their grief after having lost both their parents towards the end of last year and their sadness that they will ‘never see them again’. I cannot remember exactly what I said but I believe I responded saying ‘I don’t believe that’ and then when they asked something around what I meant, essentially clarifying that I did not believe they will not see them again one day. They responded saying that their mum was a strong believer that there is something after death, that they believe this too and then something around how none of us can know for sure however.


    The conversation went on and I wanted it to touch on faith again, so I would be able to say something to explain my beliefs further and in someway correct what I had said, but I was too weak to know how to or what to say. Believing that a belief in Jesus is the only way to enter heaven, I feel awful that I implied that everyone can, regardless of whether they have believed in him or not and so feel very shameful and worried around what to do.


    I understandably want them to know the truth, so feel I should bring it up with them in some way again, through messaging or a conversation. I am quite new to being in a managerial position and despite finding it, I admit, daunting communicating the Gospel with non Christians in general, feel even more concerned to do so being at this level – more so than if I was a fellow volunteer. I am still in my probation period and really loving the job, so have been trying to be very cautious not to act in any way which could raise concerns. I am praying for the volunteers salvation and for wisdom as to what to do but thought I would also seek advice, as I feel if I am going to bring it up with them, I will need to quite soon before too much time passes and it seems odd referring back to the conversation days/weeks later.


    Before possible reaching out to them again if I did, I thought perhaps it may be sensible to raise with my Manager first their views on being open about my faith with volunteers, not to enforce my beliefs but just to share them at times it may come up in conversation. I am sure this would be fine however but would, shamefully, find it very uncomfortable to ask, for worry for what they may think, especially as I feel I may have raised concerns that I do not always prioritise well. I can see them feeling this is not something someone in a managerial position should be dwelling on. Although on the whole I feel we get on well, they have communicated to me on a couple of occasions I have annoyed them by things I have done. They also go on leave for a week after tomorrow so tomorrow will be my only opportunity till over a weeks time.


    Even so however, what I would say to the volunteer I do not know as communicating to them that I had not been clear in what I had said at the time and that actually they will only see their parents again if they all believe in Jesus, is obviously a very strong thing to say. Even if I aimed to put it in a sensitive way, as it would involve myself directly bringing up my faith rather than it just falling into a conversation, I do feel concerned this could seem unprofessional and forceful. Another idea I had was leaving say John 3:16 somewhere where I hope they would spot it.


    I know as Christians we should be willing to face persecution for our faith however and all this is clearly myself just being worried for consequences. I know that I should be willing to do anything to share the Gospel out of love for God and others.
     
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  2. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    +4,431
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    I don't want to tell you something that may not fit your specific situation. I think rather than bringing my faith up all of a sudden I think I would mention that I am a Christian and I receive lots of strength and comfort from my faith. If possible mention some specifics that I have experienced or am familiar with. For example I was present when two healing miracles occurred. Then ask permission to share more.
     
  3. Irkle Berserkle

    Irkle Berserkle Member Supporter

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    Without knowing exactly your situation, I would let it go. In today's workplace climate, the workplace isn't the place to be trying to fulfill the great commission. As a lawyer to HR departments who witnessed first-hand all that can go wrong, I adopted the rule the last 20 years of my career that my fellow employees were basically potted plants or office machines. I would've no more thought of witnessing to coworkers or clients than slapping them. Just my $0.02 worth, but you are wading in dangerous waters.
     
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  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,232
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Two things.
    I would not raise this with your manager.
    There response will always be not to mix your beliefs with work.

    What to do about the volunteer. Send/give her a ' sympathy card' express your sorrow at hearing of her loss, say you are praying that she will know the peace of God during this time e.

    Get a mug with a distin christian message,talk about your involvement with church and let them ask questions/comments.

    Your response should be to ask Why do you believe/say that?
    And What evidence do you have for that belief or view?
     
  5. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

    +15,936
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Unwise decisions doesn’t equal persecution. You were hired to do a job. They aren’t paying you to evangelize. If you’re reprimanded you can’t call it persecution.

    Your first responsibility as a manager is to know their policies and expectations. How can you communicate them to others if you’re in the dark?

    And you didn’t consult the Lord. That’s why you’re scared. In most instances, it isn’t the person you spoke to who complains. It’s the one who overheard.

    If you aren’t willing to lose your livelihood do it off the clock. Most companies have rules about proselytizing. You should be aware of them before proceeding.

    ~bella
     
  6. Jane1000

    Jane1000 New Member

    35
    +26
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    Hi Bella,

    Ok thanks so much, that really helps. Very true.

    I have consulted the Lord since the conversation but as I am still feeling unsure and not at peace, I wonder if my urge to bring it up with the volunteer again may be the Holy Spirit prompting me to.

    Re doing it off the clock, I was thinking if I did bring it up with them again, I probably would over message outside of my working hours, possibly offering to send them a couple of Bible verses. So this could technically be viewed as off the clock, however as they would still likely view myself as deputy manager, rather than a friend getting in touch with them, I worry this would still they may find it inappropriate and unprofessional. They are lovely so hopefully this would not be the case at all if I tried to word things sensitively, but I worry.

    Another idea is to ask them if they would like to go for a coffee at some point. I feel concern however that this again, could be viewed as an unprofessional blurring of boundaries, especially yes if I did then come to bring the conversation up again around my beliefs and this got back to my manager. I can sensitively check his views on socialising with volunteers outside of work however. I do feel anxious to ask them about rules around proselytizing, but could look over our policies and procedures again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  7. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

    +15,936
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    I would expect a green light to give me peace not unease. I shared an experience earlier that may be helpful.

    A seed isn’t harvested overnight. It needs time to grow. You’ve planted it and must entrust the rest to Him. Pray for them. You don’t need to say anything. Let your knees do the talking and see what the Lord does.

    The spirit world is a chessboard. You must play by the rules to get the best results. Meaning, was it on the company’s time or a lunch break? Do they have a policy about the subject or not?

    You don’t need to know the boss’s thoughts. You have to understand the rules of engagement. That’s how you keep satan at bay.

    If God wants you ministering on the job He’ll make it clear. There won’t be confusion. And character is part of that. What you do matters most. Being a believer who honors her employer and serves them well will give you more opportunities. They’ll see your faith in action.

    God uses multiple hands. It’s rare for one person to do it all. Some plow the soil. Others plant the seeds. Some water and others harvest. All contribute to the end result.

    Knowing the part you’re meant to play is paramount. So you won’t be led by the flesh. Pray for them for the rest of the month. See if they raise the subject. If they don’t it doesn’t mean you failed. You played your part.

    ~bella
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  8. ChristServant

    ChristServant Well-Known Member

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    If you ask any person who has be doing evangelical work, they will all say they have stumbled and made mistakes.

    You enthusiasm is a good thing but you have to fine tune the time and place and practice with others if you can and watch others on YouTube evangelizing to build your confidence.

    Some time back I had to practice public speeches when I was studying law and debate using advocacy skills. It may be worth you looking at doing something similar.

    Peace be to all those in the Body of Christ.
     
  9. Jane1000

    Jane1000 New Member

    35
    +26
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    Hi, Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. That's a really good idea. After having said to her what I said though, I feel I owe it to her, and God, in a way to bring it up again to correct what I had said since I essentially lied and want her to know entering Heaven is not possible without belief in Jesus. I do feel very nervous for the idea of doing this though, especially as I feel it would be difficult to word sensitively.

    I have spoken to my Christian friends about the matter but thought I may possibly give a certain manager at another fairly local one of our stores a call, as she has been very lovely the times I have met her and I understand is a Christian. So I thought she may be a good person to gain her thoughts on the matter (whether to say anything more or not to the volunteer), as she understands the culture of our stores and may be able to advise possibly based on her experience of being a Christian in the shop environment. I also believe the area manager is a Christian. I do feel apprehensive to talk to either of them, especially with them being internal to the organisation but I imagine, particularly the local manager, would likely be understanding. If you have any thoughts on this though please feel free to let me know.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
  10. Jane1000

    Jane1000 New Member

    35
    +26
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    Thanks so much for the advice. The idea of letting it go feels more comfortable. I just feel guilty and concerned for her that I essentially lied in my beliefs. I feel I owe it to her, and God, in a way to bring it up with her again to correct what I had said since I essentially lied so want her to know entering Heaven is not possible without belief in Jesus. I do feel very nervous for the idea of doing this though, especially as I feel it would be difficult to word sensitively and appreciate you feel bringing faith up in the workplace is a bad idea.

    I have spoken to my Christian friends about the matter but thought I may possibly give a certain manager at another fairly local one of our stores a call, as she has been very lovely the times I have met her and I understand is a Christian. So I thought she may be a good person to gain her thoughts on the matter (whether to say anything more or not to the volunteer), as she understands the culture of our stores and may be able to advise possibly based on her experience of being a Christian in the shop environment. I also believe the area manager is a Christian. I do feel apprehensive to talk to either of them, especially with them being internal to the organisation but I imagine, particularly the local manager, would likely be understanding. If you have any thoughts though please let me know. It may not be a very sensible idea considering your advice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
  11. Jane1000

    Jane1000 New Member

    35
    +26
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    Hi both,

    Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement. All you both say is so useful, thank you. Watching others evangelizing on YouTube is a really good idea yes. The experience you wrote about is wonderful Bella. I like the idea of God's will filling us with peace, rather than unease. Although then I listened to a devotional today which encouraged us to step out in faith rather than shying away from opportunities we feel daunted by, through drawing upon 1 Corinthians 2, Paul's words to those he was preaching to: 'I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.' So it made me wonder again whether my feelings that I should possibly bring what I said to the volunteer up with her again, are perhaps God's will and I should trust in him that it will be ok, even if I feel very nervous.

    I feel I owe it to her, and God, in a way, to correct what I said and be honest with her, since I essentially lied in my beliefs and want her to know entering Heaven is not possible without belief in Jesus. I feel more comfortable with your idea of praying for the month though and seeing whether they raise the subject.

    All you say about playing by the rules too Bella is so useful. I cannot seem to find anything about sharing faith/beliefs in our organisation's policies but I am considering possibly giving a certain manager at another fairly local one of our stores a call, as she has been very lovely the times I have met her and I understand is a Christian. So I thought she may be a good person to gain her thoughts on the matter (whether to say anything more or not to the volunteer), as she understands the culture of our stores and may be able to advise possibly based on her experience of being a Christian in the shop environment. I also believe the area manager is a Christian. I do feel apprehensive for the idea of talking to either of them about it, particularly with them being internal to the organisation but I imagine, particularly the local manager, would likely be understanding. If you have any thoughts on this though then please let me know. It may be an unprofessional idea.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
  12. timf

    timf Regular Member

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    The next time you talk with the volunteer, you might ask how they are doing with their grief. You could then ask if they followed their parents faith. If yes, you could provide assurance of seeing them again in heaven. If not, you can suggest that they might explore the faith and have an opportunity to see them.
     
  13. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    +4,152
    Canada
    Baptist
    Married
    So, if the parents of this volunteer weren't saved, weren't born-again disciples of Christ, on what basis can you say the volunteer will see them again one day? All those who die apart from the Savior, unrepentant in their sins, will endure eternal separation from God and everyone else in hell.

    Ah. I wondered why you had said what you did. Well, God is greater than our mistakes. Really, He must always act in spite of us, however well we think we are doing in His service, because we are flawed, ignorant and weak creatures. But, He loves us and uses us to serve His purposes anyway. What a great and gracious God He is!

    It's always that God saves the lost, never you or I. We are used by Him to communicate His truth, the Gospel, but the conviction of sin, illumination of the truth, and faith to believe come only from God, not us. (John 16:8; John 16:13; John 14:26; 2 Timothy 2:26; John 6:44) So, you can deep a breath and relax. God isn't at all bound by your mistakes in sharing the Gospel.

    Let God open the door to sharing more about the Gospel with the volunteer. When He does, the conversation will always more natural and easy than if you try to shove open the door of evangelism ahead of God. So long as you are ready and willing to speak of the Savior at any time and have your eyes open for opportunity to share, expecting God to make a way to do so, be at ease and wait on God to pave the way to another evangelistic conversation with the volunteer. When He opens doors to such conversations, if you've got your eyes peeled for them, they are impossible to miss.

    You know, the best way to be a witness for Christ is simply to love him deeply and joyfully and from that love and joy glorify him in your living and speech. Instead of trying to share the Gospel at every turn, speak instead of the joyful life you live in Christ, of the richness and wonder of walking with him every day. Be open about what your personal experience of God is, speak of the goodness of life in Christ in a natural way - like a newly-wed speaks of his bride, or an avid golfer speaks of the joy of golfing - and the opportunities for more direct evangelism, more often than not, will flow out of this testimony.

    Part of the Christian testimony you provide to your co-workers comes through the way in which you work. You're an "employee" of Jesus first, working, not with eye-service, as a man-pleaser, but wholeheartedly, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:22) If your co-workers find cause to complain about you, it shouldn't be about how well you fulfill the duties of your job. You should be above criticism in the fulfillment of your responsibilities, knowing you serve your God and Savior first of all in what you do. Having done your work well, though, your co-workers have no right to force you to "hide your light," to mute your testimony to the goodness and joy of walking with God, any more than they would have the right to silence you on more mundane topics of conversation (the state of your family, the last movie you watched, the weather, etc.)

    This is a rather passive, roundabout way of pointing to the Gospel. Imagine how things would have gone if, say, Phillip had done this with the Ethiopian eunuch, if he had just sent a note with a verse on it without explanation to the eunuch. Anyway, evangelism happens as much through the testimony of your work and daily experience of God as it does through a direct spelling-out of the way of salvation. (Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 1:27; 1 Peter 2:12)
     
  14. Confused-by-christianity

    Confused-by-christianity Well-Known Member

    +331
    United Kingdom
    Christian
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    I wouldn't explain your beliefs further.
    You don't want to be the type of Christian who tells someone their parents "might" be in hell right after they died.


    Just comfort the person.

    Timing is important.
     
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