My co-worker is gay. What should I do?
Yesterday in the locker room at work, one of my co-workers found a letter belonging to another co-worker. He picked up the letter and read it. It was from our co-worker’s homosexual partner. Immediately the rest of the staff found out about the guy’s homosexuality.
He had not revealed it to anyone, so it was very surprising. There are also a lot of professing Christians at work who are very hateful in the way they talk about homosexuality.
How can I as a Christian point my gay co-worker to Christ while helping the other Christians at my work see that as Christians, we need to be concerned about the eternal well being of homosexuals and not be disrespectful to them? I don’t know this person very well because he has only worked with us for a few months, but I want to be able to witness to him somehow.
I think you are going to have to witness about the love of Christ not only to your homosexual co-worker, but to the co-workers who say they are Christians but speak hatefully. It’s enough to ask them whether they are serious about the Cross of Christ. Jesus died not only FOR the sins of all, but also because of the sins of all.
Not only heterosexuals but homosexuals are included among the former; not only homosexuals but heterosexuals are included among the latter. In witnessing both to your homosexual co-worker and to the co-workers who say they are Christians but speak hatefully, remember to speak with gentleness, rather than self-righteousness, for you are merely a forgiven sinner yourself.
Because of the cross-wind, you are in a difficult witnessing situation. It may help to remember four guidelines for relationships with people who don’t share biblical standards (that means the haters too): Don’t Argue, Don’t Apologize, Don’t Back Down and Don’t Get Trapped. Don’t Argue means don’t let yourself be drawn into a shouting match or debate. Don’t Apologize means don’t feel guilty or make excuses about refusing what you know is wrong. Don’t Back Down means stand your ground without wavering or changing your mind. Don’t Get Trapped means avoid situations where you may be tempted to give in.
The best scriptural advice for these situations is Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one”; 1 Peter 3:15b-16, “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame”; and 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
If you don’t know how to pray in this matter, remember Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”
Many a time that passage will be cool water to your heart.
Grace and peace,
Copyright 2000 J. Budziszewski. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Professor J. Budziszewski is the author of more than a dozen books, including How to Stay Christian in College, Ask Me Anything, Ask Me Anything 2, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, and The Line Through the Heart. He teaches government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin.