Yes Father, I did live my life in Christ out in the workplace.

I’m getting to the end of Fr Nkwasibwe’s book (Business Courage), so this is time to sum up and in summary, he points out something that I need constant reminding of. Reminding us as Christians how much we need patience, compassion, humility, yea, straight out love, for those we work with. It’s often hard to remember, but we are told to love our neighbors, it’s hard to think of fellow employees, bosses, subordinates, peers as “neighbors”, but you probably spend more time with them in a week, then you do with the people who live in the house next door to your house.
I don’t think for an instant that patience, compassion, humility, love are easy, they sure aren’t for me, especially when I think that someone should know better. I am not patient, or compassionate and sure not humble. I ask forgiveness from God everyday for my failings there, and quite often from those around me. Sometimes these qualities aren’t bad, sometimes, you need to push on people, expect more from the, stop giving them more chances. Jesus did not hesitate to push on the people he encountered who should have known better. Of course he’s Jesus and I’m not, but still, there does come a time.
But I certainly have to sign on to Nkwasibwe’s comments: “…leadership and followership may promise utomost commitment to promoting workplace inclusiveness, cultural and spiritual sensitivity, practical compassion, and respectful pluralism. However, without mature faith that is able to open the eyes of their hearts to a sparkling comprehension of the realities leading to salvation and to those realities of those characteristics in other people and to truthfully respond to them,…” (p 430)
I hasten to remind the reader that this book is the result of Nkwasibwe’s MBA thesis from Eastern University. I think it is great that someone would do his thesis work on a subject that has to be a hard sell in the business world, but is certainly deserving of this kind of attention. Main point I take, you encounter a lot of different people, they are in need of salvation in Christ. Regardless of what they are now, how they act, how they treat you, we are still responsible to reach them as mature Christians. We pray, we trust in God’s leading His strength and in patience, maturity, humility and love we do our best to reach them for Christ.
In the business world, we are all leaders and all followers, living our Christian lives in the workplace in all of our capacities is imperative and it is difficult. But as Nkwasibwe points out, the reality is this, those you work with have to confront their salvation as much as anyone. We have simply gone to far as a society in terms of our spiritual blindness or acting as if our eternal salvation was a matter of joining the right group, doing the “Ten ways to …”, or jumping through the right hoops, but once we get into the office, shop, car, site, etc. well it’s time to concentrate on what’s important and that’s not usually living our life to the glory of our Lord Jesus.
Luther called vocation “God’s mask”, in the sense that God sort of hides Himself in terms of the things we do (remembering that vocation is not just our job, but are we Christian spouses, parents, neighbors, community members, church members, business associates etc), it’s in terms of these roles that we actually live our Christian lives out in. Do you really think that at the end of time, when we all stand before the judgment seat, all by ourself, no title, no possessions, no wealth, no nothing and you really think that God’s not going to review your life in all these roles? How do you really think it works? “Ah, you showed up for church here and there, gave a little more than the average, volunteered here and there, didn’t do anything really criminal, ok, you’re good.”? Granted, we are saved in Christ and that is what we will ultimately be judged on. But if you are reading this and you really think that all the “good” things you’ve done will save you, COME ON! REALLY? You are going to stand before a perfect, holy God with your, at best, mediocre achievements, and expect, ahh, good enough. No, it won’t get you anywhere, you are saved in Christ and nothing else. Having said that, there will be a judgment, you will still have to fess up and do you really want to stand there and say, “yes Father, your Son, your Kingdom are important, but they weren’t important enough in my life to live out and share with those I spent a huge chunk of my life with.
So let’s talk more, we are still reading and discussing Dr Gene Veith’s book, Wednesday mornings 10am, First St Johns 140 W King St limited parking in rear of church. Again, if you have any suggestions as to building on this, anything else we might be doing, please let me know. I feel strongly about this group, I benefited greatly from a similar group back in Boston during my corporate days. I assure you we can make this something that will be of huge benefit to all of us who want to live our lives out as Christians in our vocations and that is pretty much all of us.

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