Last week we looked at the?sloth?- the sixth deadly workplace sin which Ung and Stevens describe as working too little or alternatively too much.
The test of integrity is always what we do, how we behave, when no one is looking. The faithful worker continues to focus on the important matters when the boss is away, when the customer is not there to check the quality of the service being provided or the widget being produced.
Faithfulness of course is fundamental to the character of our God and indeed his Son, Jesus:
For this reason he [Jesus] had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and?faithful?high?priest?in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)
It’s impressive isn’t it that God the Father could rely on the faithfulness of his Son to do what needed to be done – to see his atoning work work through to the end; to make sure that it was finished. ?Through Jesus’ finished work on the cross, our sins are forgiven and God’s great rescue plan proceeds unhindered.
So what does faithfulness at work look like? Ung and Stevens suggest that it is best expressed through the word integrity: ‘… consistency between inner and outer lives and between word and deed … a?transparent?life.’??
Six areas of integrity emerge from a study of Deuteronomy 17:14-20 where the attributes of a future king are narrated. ?A king who is faithful will demonstrate:
- Social integrity (v.15) – no one can influence the system without participating wholeheartedly in it.
- Financial integrity (v. 16-17) – surely an appropriate word given the financial scandals besetting so much of our corporate culture today.
- Directional integrity?(v. 16) – leaders caste a vision that points to greater trust in God rather than a nostalgia for the past and a reliance on their own abilities.?
- Sexual integrity?(v. 17) -?‘Inflated by pride and bored with the mundane,?[leaders]?seek new thrills that undermine their trustworthiness and faithfulness to people.’
- Moral integrity?(v.18) -?‘Without a moral conscience shaped by God, people become unmoored and lack the faithfulness to persist in important tasks.’
- Relational integrity?(v.20) – The king was not to regard himself as more important than other members of his community – ‘Personal humility and meekness must characterize the leader, or for that matter, any person who follows God.’??
How can we grow in faithfulness in the workplace?
- Ask for feedback – we learn more from criticism than flattery any day!
- Consider a specific occasion where you have let someone down – what happened? Why? What could you have done differently?
- Reflect on any failure due to your work performance – was it an issue of integrity? ?What did you learn?
Take a moment to use the six dimensions of integrity outlined above to reflect on your own faithfulness and integrity in the workplace.?
Next time: Life-giving rhythms ? experiencing a pattern of life that produces excellent work without being consumed by it. (Chapter 24)
Stevens, R. P., and Ung, A. (2010).?Taking Your Soul to Work: overcoming the nine deadly sins of the workplace.??Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eerdmans