Step Away from the Closet

My first writer is Oluyinka Sado nee Awobiyi. Yinka is an MBA student in Foster School of Business, Seatle Washington, she’s currently interning with Amazon and she’s carrying the light of Jesus everywhere she goes. Here’s what she has to say about being a #VesselUntoHonour in her field, both as a student and a professional. I hope it inspires you as it did me.

I want to start with saying thank you to Taemytayo for the opportunity to write about my journey as a Christian in the workplace; I’m proud of the woman you have become, with a deep love for God and a passion by which you share that love with the world.

Now to the topic, being a vessel of honour, I can only ever claim to be one because it has been bestowed upon me. Not because I have always made the right choices, or always walked the straight and narrow way, but because he said of me, I have made you righteous because you have accepted the salvation I offered.

2cor521

That’s the foundation of who I am and is how I like to start every introduction of myself to people in my professional life. No, I don’t quote 2nd Cor to them…that would be weird, lol; but I find a way to mention it early that I am Christian one way or the other. A perfect example of how I do that was in September 2016, the first week of my MBA program, we were asked to bring an artefact to the class that can be said to represent our core values. People brought all sorts, frankly, I was shocked by some of the things. One guy brought his mountain climbing shoes, saying “they are sturdy, rugged and have been through some really tough terrains. They remind me of my life’s story and represent who I am”; another brought a bowl of Jambalaya (a meal that looks like tuwo*), for her, this is her favourite family meal and her family defines who she is. You can be sure I brought my Bible, explaining that I am a born again Christian and this book is the instruction manual by which I live my life. That was that I had announced myself as a follower of Christ and the pressure is on to live up to that announcement.

More recently, I resumed as an MBA intern at Amazon in Seattle Washington. When asked what I do on weekends by my new colleagues, I was sure to mention Sunday mornings are for church, a subtle but clear message- I am a Christian! This may seem really silly, but it is important to say who you are especially when you live in one of the most unchurched states in the United States. And guess what, when you say you are a Christian here, people begin to associate you with some very un-Christ-like stereotypes. Christians here are believed to be intolerant, judgmental, homophobes, anti-abortion/pro-women suppression, and so many things that would surprise you as a real Christian. I have met Christians here who tell me they feel like they need to hide their identity from their colleagues because they don’t want people to associate them with those things. However, I tell my fellow Christians that even though Christians look bad here, we should not be in the closet about our Christianity, to the contrary, we should show them what real Christianity is.

Yes, I am anti-homosexuality, I believe it is a sin, but that does not make me a homophobe. I am also pro-life (i love babies and believe God has a plan for every life conceived by a woman), but I also believe women should be empowered to make their own choices; even our Father in heaven gave us free will immediately after he created us. I have standards, but I have compassion and love for people of all races, colour and creed. Yes, I am a Christian but slay at my job, I’m fun to hang out with, I try to exercise, and also to have a well-balanced life. I want the same things normal people want in life and yes, I’m working on it every day.

Finally, I will like to say success is the biggest bait for the gospel. As the old saying goes success has many friends. When you are good at what you do and make great strides in your career by God’s grace, people want to know how you did it.  This is your chance to let them know you had some help from above. Tell them about the Holy Spirit promised to everyone who believes in Jesus, give examples of how He has practically helped you and give them a chance to try it out for themselves.

This is how I represent Christ in my professional life, I hope you can too.

Tuwo*: it is a type of Nigerian cuisine from the northern part of Nigeria. It is a thick pudding prepared from rice flour and is usually served with different types of soups

 

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