Author: Harmony Oswald

Honoring God in the Workforce

“So, David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?’ The Lord answered him, ‘Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.’ So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, ‘As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.’ So that place was called Baal Perazim.”                  2 Samuel 5:19-20

In everyday business, it does not regularly come up in conversation that the name of my law firm, Parazim, was inspired by the Book of Samuel. Rather, it’s an underlying truth that God and I both know about.

To explain, I was in a season where I was developing my business plan for my law firm. I was reading the Bible one day when I came across these particular verses in Samuel. God had placed it in my heart to focus on assisting and advancing women entrepreneurs, which would undoubtedly require the fierce dedication of a strong warrior woman prepared to break through. Thus, God sent the word “Parazim,” which means “break through,” so that my firm name would serve as a constant reminder that wherever I go, the God of break through will fight my battles for me. This is just one example of how I personally incorporate God into my work as a startup/business lawyer.

However, incorporating God into our work can be done in much more nuanced ways. It is not required that we name our business after a Bible verse. Everyday interactions with colleagues and community service are opportunities to share God’s love with the world.

Firstly, women in the workforce should think about what Jesus would do when interacting with others. Jesus was highly concerned about showing love toward all of humanity, especially the poor and oppressed. Further, in 1 Corinthians 9:20-22, the apostle Paul discussed his approach when interacting with diverse people in various circumstances. It states, “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak, I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Like Paul, women have the opportunity to interact with an array of diverse individuals in the workforce, especially in Silicon Valley. This is a great chance to showcase God’s love in a way that resonates with a person level. In return, that person can learn, possibly for the first time, about the love of God.

Secondly, women can honor God in the workforce by engaging in social and civic engagements that make the world a better place. Again like Jesus, who had a heart of deep concern for the needy, the poor, and the oppressed, women can learn about social problems in the community and give money or volunteer time to make a positive impact in society.

Like Liz Curtis Higgs who authored the book, “It’s Good to Be Queen,” I personally have a deep concern for uplifting women.  In the past, women mainly worked inside of the home. In modern times, however, a majority of women – either out of necessity or by choice – engage in business outside of the home. Supporting and advancing women in the workforce so that they can fulfill God’s whole purpose for their lives resonates deeply within my heart. For this reason, as a startup lawyer, when establishing my firm Parazim, I made the decision to focus on advancing female entrepreneurs and businesswomen. This provides me with a daily opportunity to encourage, provide solutions, and advance sisters in the workforce. God and I act as a team: the “God of break through” empowers me to bravely assist many of the women whom He loves and cares deeply for.    

No matter what type of work you are in, there are always plenty of opportunities to share God’s love with diverse people in unique ways. As a fellow Christian at work, I encourage you to pray and faithfully follow God’s promptings on how you can personally honor God at work. It is my hope that doing so will bring you as much joy and gratification as it brings me.