Workplace Evangelism: Part 6


  • As a Christian in the workplace, what is our attitude when there is conflict at work, involving you and another person?    Whether or not you are at fault, Christ has made some very direct statements about OUR conduct in these matters. Having been there too many times, than I would like to count, I offer up the following scriptural narratives.  These scriptures have seen me through both the humiliating and humbling situations of life in the workplace. 
  • There are times when someone has offended us.  The fact is that it will change the dynamic in the office. It will change attitudes of everyone concerned.  The Scripture is clear (Matthew 6:15), we are to be reconciled as soon as we realize there is a wrongdoing. We are not let it create a bigger problem within the workplace.  This means we are to seek forgiveness for our part, forgive the other party and restore fellowship.  It is not about who is right or wrong.  It is not about rehashing the situation again.  It is not about saving face.  It is not about waiting for the other party to seek forgiveness for their part.   It is about restoring fellowship and peace.  It is about our being a witness for Christ.
  • Then there is the situation when we offend others.  The circumstances are not much different from before because the dynamics of the office always change when conflict occurs. The Scriptures again are clear saying that we should not even attempt to worship God before we seek to settle the issue and restore our fellowship (Matthew 5:23-24).  This means we should seek forgiveness for our part and restore fellowship for our offense.   It does not mean that after we accept responsibility for our part that the other party will respond in like kind.   However, please understand we are not answerable for what others think say or do, only ourselves.  I know this Scripture is talking about a fellow Christian but I believe it applies in all workplace situations.  The sooner we restore fellowship and a positive work environment the more possibilities there are to witness, give testimony to God and minister to others.
  • There are people who just endure work every day because they have to face what I will call “living with grumpy people”.  The Scriptures refers to some of these as the “enemy”.  These are the people who oppose us for whatever reason. Maybe they oppose us because of our Christian witness, or they do not like everything we stand for, or maybe they just do not like us.  There are Scriptures for that too (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-31; Romans 12:17-21).  Jesus simply tells us to pray for these people, for the bullies in our life, or for those who just do not like us.   I have found that most times they cannot help themselves.  It is not any of us whom they direct their hate.  It is life in general, and we are whom they have to deal with on a daily basis.  Jesus tells us to love the hateful.   I am afraid that is easier said than done, but the results are tremendous.   It will amaze and at times confuse our friends.  It will astonish and become a witness before our enemies.  The Scripture goes on to say that, we are not to repay evil with evil but repay evil with good.   I know that showing true Christian love, plus showing honest and public respect no matter the circumstance will win over the coldest critic.
  • Finally, Jesus tells us (Matthew 18:22-35) to forgive and show mercy to those who offend us without keeping score.   As I understand the love of God through the words of Christ, the central focus is all about fellowship.  It is restored fellowship: God to human beings and one person to another.  If we cannot forgive each other, whom we can see, then what can we say about our relationship to God whom we can see?  All Jesus has been saying to us about restoring lost friendship among Christians, and yes even fellow coworkers, is the stuff of godly living, ministry opportunities, and building discipleship.