Home   News   Article

CHRISTIAN VIEWPOINT: Rejoicing together in God’s bigness and love can bring an oasis of refreshment

By John Dempster

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Stewart Nicol.
Stewart Nicol.

Stewart Nicol, reflecting on what it means to be a Christian in the workplace, quotes some intriguing words of wisdom: ‘life’s a peach, not an orange’. He means that we are tempted to live in a segmented way like an orange - a ‘Christian segment’, a ‘workplace segment’, a ‘relationship segment’.

Instead, he says, our Christian faith should permeate every aspect of our existence. We should live integrated, peach-like lives, authentic in every situation.

More from John Dempster

More from our columnists

Sign up for our free newsletters

Until his recent retirement, Stewart was chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, and he was awarded an OBE back in December. He is an elder and treasurer at Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church. Since childhood, his faith has, he tells me, ‘always been central to who I am’.

His work with the chamber was motivated by the desire ‘to grow the organisation, to take it to a different level’, and he was ‘passionate’ about making ‘Inverness and the Highlands a better place to live and work’. He sees healthy businesses as key to a thriving community.

Listening to this positive vision of the transformative power of well-run business, I remembered the Christian idea of the ‘kingdom of God’ – a society marked by peace, wellbeing, justice and joy. ‘Do you think,’ I asked Stewart ‘that business is one way through which God can make real the values of the kingdom in our society?’ And he replied ‘I very strongly believe that’.

Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church.
Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church.

But it’s not just Christians in business who face this challenge. All Christians, Stewart says ‘have a role to play wherever they are living or working in society’, expressing the values of the kingdom.

Exactly how did Stewart’s Christian faith affect his work with the chamber, I wondered. Was it a mental decision – ‘Acting in a Christian way means doing x or y’? Or did God nudge and prompt him in real time? ‘Well yes,’ he said, but pointed to something deeper, more fundamental. He acts as he does ‘because it’s the way God has shaped me and moulded me as a believer’.

I wondered where, in all his activities, Stewart finds time and space to re-charge. He mentions time spent with his wife, sons and grandsons; the disciplines of Bible reading and prayer; the teaching of church pastors. And he finds church, being with others rejoicing together in God’s bigness and love, an oasis of refreshment.

He is a strong leader, his contribution to the Highlands publicly recognised, yet it seems to me that he is a humble man. He inspires Christians to see their role in life as God-given, to face up to difficult decisions, to be agents of loveliness and grace, and to live lives unashamedly unsegmented. Not orange, but peach.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More