This post is part of our Sunday Series titled “Articles of Faith.”
We investigate leadership lessons from the Bible.
See the whole series here. Published only on Sundays.
As a business leader, I often hear warnings against bringing my faith into a secular business world. Morals and integrity can be influenced by my faith, but referring to God or Jesus directly can be an offense to some.
Ummm… So how do I manage that issue?
For me, I can’t drop being a Christian when I walk in the office door.
Here is how I see it:
- God is the one who gave me my business
- He’s the one who blesses it
- He’s the one who provides for us
- He’s the one who leads my career and path; even more so than I do!
So how could I possibly remove His name from the equation? God wants us to acknowledge Him in all we do, and this is what I do: I run a company.
Incorporating My Faith
Incorporating my faith in the workplace could possibly make others uncomfortable. When dealing with a distance between believers and non-believers in a professional setting, I have the example of Jesus to follow.
Jesus was patient and accepting. Yet Jesus was not afraid of sharing his beliefs and did not change them when the challenges were many.
My beliefs are bound to offend at times, but this reaction shouldn’t be cause for apology; I shouldn’t be expected to change for others.
I shouldn’t expect others to change for me. This respect is a two-way street.
No Offense, But…
We all have divergent beliefs and opinions, and as we work and travel through life together, we are bound to have conflicting points of view.
It’s a privilege that comes with knowing each other.
This results in listening and even learning how to better communicate my faith.
Instead of feeling hurt and upset when confronted with differences, it’s okay to ask what is really bothering them.
Here are some questions to explore:
- Do they blame God for something bad that happened?
- Are they mad at Him?
- Do they simply prefer to not consider the topic at all?
Obviously, people will always have different points of view. Even people who belong to the same church or faith group disagree at times. However, that’s no reason to be disrespectful. People should be accepted for who they are, and their beliefs are a part of that.
Conflicting opinions don’t have to be a point of conflict.
I personally believe Jesus is the Son of God. I also believe that sometimes our disagreements can be resolved by simply opening up the Bible and reading together with open minds and hearts and letting God reveal Himself to us.
Of course, not everyone believes the Bible is God’s word.
This is when the opportunity to respectfully discuss these differences arises. These discussions can be wonderful venues through which we show how much love and respect we have for our colleagues.
Christmas Is Holy, Holiday Parties Are Parties
In addition to our individual differences and discussions, there are decisions to be had that affect the business as a whole. One example of this is how holiday parties are approached. When I think of holiday parties, I think of Christmas.
Businesses often label a Christmas-centric party a holiday party.
The truth is, parties that focus on exchanging gifts, enjoying alcohol and tasty food, and dressing up aren’t inherently Christian in nature. So maybe call those holiday parties.
If, as a business leader, you want to honor God as a company during the Christmas season, take note of Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 25: 34-40), which implores us to feed the hungry and clothe the needy in order to honor God. Whatever we do for the weakest of our brothers, we do for God as well.
So if you want to celebrate Christmas in a God-pleasing way, try these options:
- Serve a warm meal downtown or sponsor an orphan
- Give money to a wanderer on the street
- Donate clothing to a shelter
- Visit sick people in the hospital
- Write letters to prisoners
It seems that when we help people less fortunate than us, we are helping Jesus Christ Himself. And that is something very in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
Let your faith be visible in all areas of your life, and respect others who have faith, even if it’s different from yours. You can have a work environment that encourages people to share their many different beliefs, including their their testimonies and give praise to God.
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