Avoiding the pitfalls of workplace talk, thinking and behavior
Christianity at work...for the most part, we all need to support ourselves. That self-supporting system generally comes in three phases. First is the education phase, where we are supposed to choose what self-support direction to take and then how to do it. Second is the work of making ends meet, which for most of us, occupies the majority of our adult lives. It is our thinking and actions in this phase that define our lives. Third is the benefits stage. It is hard to get to but can give us choices and control of our time. Whatever stage of life we might be in, we as Christians are always required to carry our beliefs and principles with us. The question then is simple. How well are we defining ourselves by our thoughts, words and actions while in these environments? Do we look like and act like the follower of Christ we profess to be?
Let’s face it...your workplace can provide a great environment in which to labor but can also easily be a toxic environment. Either way, we as Christians need to be clear on what we are trying to accomplish when we are there. Now this sounds odd – obviously we are there to “do our job” and “get paid” and “provide for our family.” It would be easy if the whole working experience was as antiseptic as that, but we all know it is not. There are the people factors that add several dimensions to our presence there, and these are what will likely make or break our Christianity in that environment. So, let’s be clear on what we are looking to accomplish with our Christianity at work.
Jesus worked. He didn’t punch a clock or get paid a salary, but his daily mission was to teach the Gospel and bring it to the average person. Looking at his attitude and preparation for his work we can certainly learn some valuable lessons to apply to our preparation and attitude regarding our work.
Here is just one of the many “work day” lessons Jesus taught us. Attitude: not the attitude we adopt once we get to work and things go wrong or deadlines overwhelm or people are arguing. Jesus taught us to set our attitude BEFORE we go anywhere or do anything. His approach was simple – love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength AND love your neighbor as yourself! Translating this into our 21st century work environment is simple. Decide to work as though God Himself were your boss and treat everyone in that environment with the highest respect. Decide this before you get there and act on what you decided!
We all know that there are a myriad of details and circumstances that will hinder this simplistic approach. That is why you need to check out our July 23, 2018 podcast, “What Happens to My Christianity when I go to Work?” We talk about working hard when others don’t, coping with dishonesty, managing gossip and so much more. Jesus really did show us how to truly be Christian while we work – tune in and learn from what he had to say!
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