If you have spent any time in the workplace, you know that it can be a struggle to maintain your Christian values. The workplace is a hotbed of different beliefs, different personalities, different attitudes, and different work styles. There are people with a wide range of aspects of diversity, including religion. In the midst of all this, Christians are called to display values and behavior that show the love of Christ. This can be very difficult at times when you are dealing with politicking, backstabbing, gossiping, lack of integrity, and poor work ethic.
So, what exactly are values? Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to. We all have our own individual values but I believe that some values should be common for Christians to demonstrate in the workplace.
Let’s briefly explore five of these values:
Integrity connotes a deep commitment to doing the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances, even when no one is watching. Integrity includes a sense of honesty, dependability, and consistency of character. People with integrity adhere to company policies. They own up to their mistakes. They are honest and don’t tell untruths. They are trustworthy and dependable. Proverbs 10:9 says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
A study by Harvard Business Review found that respect was the number one thing that people wanted at work. We show respect to others by treating them with courtesy and kindness; encouraging them to share opinions and ideas; really listening to them; treating them fairly, and being inclusive. So, why do we need to respect others? Remember the golden rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31).”
C.S. Lewis says that “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” Humble people listen more and talk less. They put others’ needs before their own; admit mistakes; show appreciation, and minimize status differences. 1 Peter 5:5 says, “Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another because God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.”
- Strong Work Ethic
A strong work ethic is exemplified by demonstrating a good attitude; being dependable; managing work time wisely; performing well consistently, and showing loyalty to your organization. Individuals with a strong work ethic also work well with others – and they show integrity and respect. Ephesians 6:7-8 says, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.”
There are so many needs and struggles where we can show compassion and be an encouragement to others around us. As Christians, we are called to show compassion to others in all aspects of our lives. Jesus had an extremely busy, three-year work schedule but he still made lots of time to show kindness and compassion to others. He taught us not to walk away from those who are facing difficult situations in life but to be a companion that walks with those who are suffering. We can do this by noticing when colleagues are in pain or are undergoing personal stress and trying to make them feel secure and comfortable at work.Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
In summary, living our Christian values is the best way to stay true to yourself and show others that you’re a person of faith in the workplace. We are called to be the salt and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16) and that includes the workplace!