From all business to all blessing, thanks to Christ.
by Stacy Farrell
As business manager in a law firm, I did my best to play the part of a successful woman: spike heels, skirt above the knee, expensive perfume, diamond studs in my ears.
Work was my way of establishing identity, love, and security. But my boss was demanding. When he asked, “Did you take care of it?” I knew I’d better be able to say yes. He wasn’t interested in explanations, and he equated no with failure.
Time and money
Though I worked to exhaustion, it never seemed enough. If I had a day off, my mind remained focused on work. Two days off, and I’d start to panic.
I resented any employee taking time off — even to attend a funeral. “You want three days off! He’s dead; there’s nothing you can do for him now. We’ve got work to do!”
Money became a measure of my importance. I spent it extravagantly. Twice a year I’d burst into my favorite boutique minutes before it closed, expecting a salesperson to attend to me after hours until I exited with a rack of clothing.
Yet even in my work haze, I realized most people “loved” me for what I could do for them, not because they cared for me.
When I was introduced to Roger, I noticed he was different. He didn’t seem to want anything from me. Shortly after we met, he told me he was a Christian.
Though I’d never read the Bible, I was sure it was a bunch of nonsense. Concerned that his church was taking advantage of him, I accepted his invitation to attend a midweek service.
After my first visit, I was more convinced that the whole “Christianity thing” was nothing more than a business. All this talk about God sacrificing His Son to save me is a ploy to make me feel bad about myself, I thought. But as I kept attending, I was amazed to learn how relevant and practical Scripture is when applied to daily life.
Well, I decided, at least people get something useful for their money at this church.
One of Jesus’ statements impressed me: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). I began to see the church as a hospital and the members as patients. If Christianity helps these people, maybe it isn’t so bad. But I was successful; I didn’t need help.
I kept hearing about Jesus’ unconditional love. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Contrasted to Jesus, I began to see myself as heartless and helpless. It wasn’t long before I found myself sobbing in my seat, longing to experience the love I heard described.
I wasn’t sure if Christ was real or if He was the Son of God. But I knew that if He was real and if He had died to pay for my sins, I wanted to acknowledge His sacrifice. Kneeling next to Roger in my living room, I prayed for Jesus to become my Lord and Savior.
By committing myself to Jesus as my Savior, I became a child of God. “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). And because I didn’t earn God’s love, I don’t have to worry about losing it. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Almost immediately, I started becoming a more sensitive man-ager. When the receptionist had oral surgery, my first concern was her pain — not the way surgery affected her ability to answer the telephone. When I ob-served one lawyer working every weekend, instead of tabulating the billable hours he was generating for the firm, I thought of his wife at home with newborn twins. I couldn’t ignore the people performing the tasks.
While increasingly grateful for my earnings and position, I recognized that material wealth and status can be lost. Nothing, however, can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:39).
Three months after my deci-sion to follow Jesus, Roger had the opportunity to begin playing guitar for a small church. I was delighted to discover the midweek service was held in the pastor’s living room. In the shelter of that intimate setting, I experienced the healing power of God’s love on a deeper level.
I had always hungered for a love that accepted me tenderly when I failed. A love that celebrated my victories without jealousy.
A love that appreciated my talents unselfishly, encouraging me to seek fulfillment where I might truly find it. Jesus’ radical love meets all these needs and more.
Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.