The workplace can be a challenging and competitive arena. Too often, honesty and hard work can lose out to the pursuit of a quick buck and me-first politicking. But there is another way. The idea that the Bible contains specific guidance for the modern work life is not as incongruous as it might seem. As Joseph1 and Daniel2 proved, we can stand for integrity and diligence in the workplace, which can serve as a witness to others.

Have a strong work ethic.

Give it your best shot. Instead of doing the minimum, put your all into your responsibilities. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). “Those who work hard will prosper” (Proverbs 13:4 NLT).

Be a self-starter. Take the initiative. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6–8).

Be honest. Bending the rules doesn’t pay in the long run. “Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people” (Proverbs 11:3 NLT).

Don’t dwell on negatives.

No job is perfect. “If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

As for that hard-to-get-along-with coworker, the Bible instructs, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Contentions? “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back” (Proverbs 29:11).

Feeling restless and bored? God will refresh your spirit. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23 NLT).

Feeling stressed and spent? “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Be patient.

God blesses those who do things His way, but not always immediately and not only in dollars and cents. The Bible characters Joseph and Daniel both rose to top positions, but neither was an overnight success. It took years of faithful, patient work to show themselves trustworthy of greater responsibility.3 “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich” (Proverbs 10:22). “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4).

  1. See Genesis chapters 39 and 41.
  2. See Daniel 1:19–20.
  3. See Genesis chapters 37,39–41; Daniel chapters 1–2.