It is hardly surprising that Stevens and Ung propose love as the opposite of lust in the workplace pointing out that, whereas lust looks to be serviced, love serves: ?For people of faith, it is a ,,, universal human desire to be loved by God and to love God.?
The authors provide a challenging and helpful list of questions based in 1 Corinthians 13 adapted for the workplace:
- Are you willing to do small things, even when no one is watching?
- Do you look out for opportunities to show kindness to people who are usually ignored, shunned or overlooked?
- Do you rejoice with the success of colleagues or peers?
- Do you resist the temptation to draw attention to yourself?
- Do you treat everyone with respect and courtesy?
- Do you actively seek not to provoke other people?
- Do you consciously choose to frame things in a positive manner, giving your colleagues the benefit of the doubt (while not being blind to their foibles)?
- Do you restrain yourself from inflating other people?s faults or exposing their weaknesses in order to tear them down?
That?s quite a list and I could not help but feel for Christian politicians (the current election results being in front of mind).? How hard must it be for them to enact some of these suggestions in the adversarial culture of political life??
Two suggestions are offered for cultivating the fruit of love in the workplace:
- Form covenantal relationships with the people you work with: ?The authors refer to the Hebrew word Hesed which describes relationships that are so faithful, kind and compassionate that it is called a covenant.? These sorts of relationships emerge when we give attention to people who are shunned (?wrong? education, race or background).? They suggest the book of Ruth as a rich source of further study of hesed relationships (see also Mark Greene’s article?, pp 6-7)
- Contemplate Jesus? working relationship with his Father: ?Described as ?? the best working relationship in history?, the authors encourage a study of the Gospel of John to see examples of how this relationship works out in practice.
So as you enter the workplace this week, may you be mindful of opportunities to demonstrate love to those around you.? ?May the loving, hesed relationships that you have already formed flourish in ways that draw people to our Father God.
Next time: Beautiful Purity (Chapter 21)
Stevens, R. P., and Ung, A. (2010).?Taking Your Soul to Work: overcoming the nine deadly sins of the workplace.??Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eerdmans