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.

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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

 

Vessels Unto Honour

There’s this prayer I pray, the HolySpirit inspired that prayer in me, it’s:

Lord, let my life be an advertisement for you, let me be a billboard for you.

I read somewhere that if you have to convince people that you are a Christian then you are doing something wrong, remember that the name “Christian” came from observations – they observed that the Apostle’s behaviour was mirrored after Christ.

The question I am asking today is: Is your life an advertisement for Christ?

As a professional, is Jesus evident in your life? Is it visible that you put God first in everything you do? Or do you put him on the back burner when it comes to your career? Or are you a Christian living for judgement day only, living each day as they come, and waiting for the rapture to happen? Either way, it’s important to always put God first in all you do while you make waves for good while here on earth….guess what, the whole world is waiting for your manifestation

For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed.- Romans 8:19

Clays have always fascinated me, it is interesting how different creations a potter can create with just clay…fascinating sculptures, plates and even vessels, each with their variations. God is the ultimate potter, and He took time creating different people with the same clay. You were not moulded and given life for you to do nothing, you were moulded to be a vessel…a Vessel Unto Honour.

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In May I was at a concert and the HolySpirit dropped the word: “Vessels Unto Honour”, that was my next assignment, which was to gather unashamed Christian professionals from different works of life, to write about their lives and how God is very involved in their lives. I didn’t know where to start, with the help of the HolySpirit I compiled a list.

Every Wednesday and Friday starting from the month of July, I will be posting write-ups from professionals from different works of life, expressing themselves as #VesselsUntoHonour, please follow me on this journey as they write about how involved God is in their lives. These professionals are doing well in their field and they are unashamed of Christ. This dispels the myth that to be successful in this world you have to put Christ on the back burner.

As a professional, how do I bring Jesus to my job? While pastors preach on the pulpit and talk about God and his faithfulness, I realised that my pulpit is my life, my office and my professional space is my mission field. I don’t need to wear “Jesus Girl” T-shirt before I get people’s attention, my character should shout God’s fame. The way I respond to emails, the way I relate to my colleagues, the decisions I make when no one is around is very important should shout Christ-like. Some of my colleagues will not step into a church to hear my pastor preach about God’s faithfulness and His love, but they should come in contact with the salvation message through my life, what version will I be if I am read? Will I be the rejected translation or the Christ-like translation? These are the thoughts that are constantly running through my head.

I pray their stories blesses you as they have been blessing me.

Happy New Half of the year *winks*