From the Pastor’s Desk – September 2017

Ten Ways to Live Your Faith at Work

“Wherever your job takes you, applying these simple principles will help you witness to Christ in front of your co-workers:

1. Be Joyful:
We can’t be happy all the time, but joy transcends emotion. It’s rooted in the hope we have in Christ and the knowledge that His faithfulness is constant and enduring. I have a co-worker who exemplifies this joy; she radiates a natural cheerfulness that makes me grateful to be on her team. Her joy is contagious.

2. Strive for Excellence:
Who do you work for? It’s not just a company, a boss, or even your family. We all work for the Lord. So that carries with it a responsibility—we should always do our best in human terms. (Can you imagine Jesus producing shoddy work as a carpenter?)

Our work necessarily involves trade-offs between perfection and timeliness. However, we’re always able to work with intensity, to give our best efforts to the task at hand, and to pray that the Lord will bless and sanctify our work.

3. Support Others:
If your work involves other human beings, there are people around you experiencing difficulties. Although we can’t fix everything, we can often be a source of quiet support and encouragement. This can be as simple as an understanding smile, a willingness to listen patiently for a couple of minutes during a busy day, or sharing an
encouraging word.

4. Be an ally:
In thinking about it, don’t we all need allies at work? Even better, regardless of our role in an organization, why not strive to be someone else’s ally? This helps us to remember that it’s not all about us.

5. Forgive:
I knew two women in my workplace several years ago who were at each other’s throats…playing political games and trying to amass support for their positions. The words, “I’m sorry” are among the most powerful we can use. When it’s our turn to forgive, we’re called to do it from the heart.

6. Embrace Failure:
There’s no better impetus to success than failure. Even in the small work place failures we experience, which are inevitable, we can learn, grow, and do better next time. With perseverance and willingness to admit our failures, the path to success is never easy… but it is attainable.

7. Be a Friend:
When there are difficult relationships we face at work, it’s often a challenge to see Christ within others. Yet, if we accept this as a challenge, pray for the other individual and commit to treating him/her with courtesy and respect, even the most difficult relationships can come around.

8. Be grateful:
Gratitude is a powerful aspect of our faith, and we can also use it in unlikely circum stances. I remember an obnoxious friend who tried to change my way of thinking, because he wasn’t happy about my Catholic leanings. I finally realized he was trying to offer me the most precious thing in his life, and that changed my perspective. If you’re married, speak positively about your spouse. It’s so countercultural that people tend to be surprised. But we ought to treat our marriage with honor and reverence.

9. Be humble:
There are no limits to the benefits of humility in the workplace. If we want strong teams, we need to play off the strengths of others, rather than their weaknesses. This requires humility, because we’re recognizing that our own skill set isn’t the “be-all” and “end-all”.

10. Pray:
The best thing we can do is pray for others we encounter in our work. It is always possible to live out our faith in the workplace…in ways that benefit ourselves, our employers, and our co-workers…and help us draw closer to our Lord. Let’s resolve together to approach our daily work as a means of loving God, our neighbor, our co-workers—and effectively serving our employer. Let’s pray for one another!”

Kevin Lowry—OSV Newsweekly