Lecture: What Should Christians in the Workplace Feel About 'Lying Flat'?

A picture shows a man lying down on the grass.
A picture shows a man lying down on the grass. (photo: unsplash.com)
By Christine Lau October 12th, 2022

With the theme of "God, I Don't Want to Work ard anymore", the Missional Discipleship Workshop invited pastors and experts to talk about how to cope with workplace fatigue.

A survey conducted by the Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism (CCCOWE) found that 60 percent of more than 200 Christian workers aged 18-40 wanted to "lie flat".

But for various reasons, very few of them had the opportunity to "lie flat" (a lifestyle and social protest movement in China to reject societal pressures to overwork) completely. Most of them were stressed out and extremely tired.

"When it comes to following Jesus in the workplace, many people feel very tired," said Rev. David Doong, director general of CCCOWE. "I'm tired enough at work without talking about my mission."

At these times, Uncle Mao, who has been coming to the church since his childhood, expressed that he often felt that he was unable to find the motivation to serve and became even more tired when he was bounded by too many teachings.

Dr. Situ, a workplace manager who participated in the lecture, would not give any advice immediately when someone chooses to lie flat. Instead, he would listen attentively and give them the time to think by themselves. He believes that the workplace is about the relationship between people, and employees are not robots or tools to make money. They should be respected and trusted. Every person in any position has a God-given responsibility.

At the same time, Dr. Situ also talked about his own experience. He had failed in the financial storm in 1997 and was heavily in debt. He was in fear of another failure which may lead to the loss of economic support for thousands of his employees and social events which might hit the industry. At such times, he could only choose to lie flat.

But Dr. Situ also pointed out that lying flat is all about rest and good fortune. The Bible also has many stories of lying flat. God even sent angels to serve Elijah when he was laying flat, all exhausted and sorrowful. The Psalms keeps reminding us of the importance of rest over and over. We're not superhuman. Sometimes we can lie flat and look up to see God's work. God is encouraging people who wanted to lie flat to reveal themselves before God.

A person's life includes many aspects, such as family, work, life, study, and ministry. All these need to be taken into account, so how should we balance them?

Dr. Situ pointed out that we should be committed to our family, work, and church, and live in the same style as Jesus Christ. For example, he said that it was not a good phenomenon for a person to spend all of his or her life in the workplace and then harm his or her family when he or she went home and did not have the energy to take care of them.

Dr. Situ pointed out that God values relationships, and Christians should see our faith in the way we behave, that is, in living the life of Christ.

- Translated by Nicolas Cao

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