Discipleship

The Dangers and Concerns in the Workplace

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Here are some thoughts for your consideration; the key is to remember what God calls us to do. Our work is not to define us! Even though this may be the first question we ask someone new to us, or is asked of us, our work is what we do, not who we are! Work is not our identity or our worth!

How do you handle Anger? Anger is one of the biggest enemies for the employee as well as the employer! We are to be known by our love; yet, it is anger that most often communicates who we are. Thus, we must beware of its vicious and destructive ways!

· Our inner feelings of inadequacy can be the fuel to the negative reaction to anger from a boss or coworker. Thus, we have to see ourselves as God sees us, redeemed, and as His child. Then we can have a healthier self-image that gives us confidence but does not allow pride.

· Do not try to just ignore your anger. Walking away from, or stopping the anger, will not solve the problem, and often, even prolongs it. Put an end to the anger by seeking to solve the root of the conflict. Let the anger give you the fuel to react quickly and confidently, but do not let it control you!

· Gossiping, name-calling, and/or trying to get even will only escalate the problem and give others a very wrong impression of our Lord! Remember, our essential self worth is not our job; it is who we are in Him!

· Do not take anger personally! View your work as a service to Christ, not a personal, esteem-building venture!

· Do not be defensive. Rather, let integrity be your guide. Virtue will build actions, even if you are under attack by an angry employer or fellow-employee. Show Christ-like character, and, in the long run, you will win out. If not, shake the dust off your feet and move on, because in God's eyes, you are the winner!

· If the employer or fellow-employee is angry, do not let it influence you! Do not acknowledge the anger, and refuse to accept the tone, because that gives it more fuel and you will lose control.

· Separate the emotion of the anger from the words and content of what a person is saying. Do not respond to their anger with your own! Let them vent, then get to the root of the problem. Listen, and ask, How do you want me to resolve this? Find a solution, especially if it is your fault. And, if that be the case, take responsibility; do not blame others; deal and act!

· Restate the content of their complaint in your own words without the emotion. Use phrases such as, I didn't know you disagreed with that policy. Or, I'm glad to know how you feel. Let us find a solution about that.

· Let the person know you are glad they came to you (even if they acted inappropriately, because, we all do so at some point). When you are positive and looking to help them, you will be able to defuse the anger faster than anything else you could do. Also, be in prayer, asking God to give you the strength and the appropriate words. Remember, He is there too!

· Remember Christ-like attitude, and the "Fruits of the Spirit," as well as sensibleness, self-control, and cooperation. (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:4) Seek to emulate His character and you will excel.

Here are some thoughts for your consideration; the key is to remember what God calls us to do:

· Our work is not to define us! Even though this may be the first question we ask someone new to us, or is asked of us, our work is what we do, not who we are! Work is not our identity or our worth!

· Our worth as a Christian is who we are in Christ!

· Work, in society, is center stage for our social classification and the search for identity, and can even be an addiction to fulfill our deeper needs!

· Our worth as a Christian is who we are in Christ!

· Ecclesiastes 2:4; 4:7-8 asks, What benefit do we gain? This passage gives us the impression that our toil and work are merely temporary. We may find work necessary in order to live, but it is not permanent or eternal.

· It is not what we do that matters, but how we are!

· Colossians 3:22-25. Our work may not define us, but it will either mature or devalue us. How we respond and model character will be the eternal value-our true selves. Work can even be a means through which to worship our Lord!

· People will see Christ through us in the workplace--either as a God to come to, or, one from whom to be repelled. How do people at work see Christ through you?

Is God fair? This question comes up in our frustrations and setbacks, but the answer is always, yes. He sees and knows all, and we have so little faith and knowledge. We need to seek His Grace as our motivation, not what we see in others or what we think being rewarded is all about. Be a person who prays prayers that really and truly seek the Lord! Prayers in the New Testament are never about selfishness, never point to self; they are always teaching us to point to God and how we can advocate His glory. Do your prayers point to Him? Do not give into your own ways; give in to His! This starts with the right prayers of how I can serve, how I can be used, what I have to learn, not just what I can do or what I need! God wants to give to you! All too often, we are so busy with what we think we need that we do not listen or take advantage of His treasures and opportunities. Allow Him to deal with you generously! Allow your prayers to be generous towards others. Whatever fears or graces you experience, understand that you are built and designed for relationships. You need to understand your role to others around you and their role to you! Life may seem to shortchange you at times, but our Lord never shortchanges you unless you want Him to!

We glorify God when we endure with our faith and character-no matter what we might face or experience. The chief purpose for Christians, above all else, is to glorify God (Luke 22:42; John 17:22; Eph. 4:1-16). Christ is our great example for respect and endurance; He endured and suffered for you, He took your place in God's wrath, and as a sinless, innocent person, went to the cross for us all. We then follow in His steps-not for our salvation, as it has already been given to the Christian-but to show another picture to those who are watching us. We exemplify Him by being a good example! Why? He has healed and saved us, so we need to trust Him out of our gratitude, and allow Him to be our Shepherd, Guardian, and Lord over all.

Questions

1. Do you realize how generous and gracious our Lord is? Have you experienced it? If not, why?

2. What happens if a Christian sincerely knows and serves the Lord, yet only receives hardships, while others around him or her seemed to be blessed?

3. How do our wants rob us of what is best and what is really prosperous? Have you seen this in yourself or others? How so?

4. How would grumbling against God or saying He is not fair be a sign that someone does not understand Grace or cannot see past his or her hurts and experiences?

5. How would your spiritual life and attitude toward life and others improve if you really took to heart this lesson-that our salvation has more to do with our worship of Christ and less about our rewards?

6. How does Jesus' willingness to be obedient and to submit affect how you perceive leadership and influence?

7. We are to trust in Christ; our motivation is to serve, not to demand what we think our reward or place is to be. Why is this so hard for some people? Is it hard for you?

8. How can you glorify God with your faith and character in your Job?

© 2003, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools http://www.discipleshiptools.org/

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