My wife owns and operates a packaging and mailing business where customers come in daily for those types of needs. The environment often lends opportunity to listen to peoples daily issues and problems (whether you want to or not) and if possible, offer encouragement to them. But all too often, the business person uses this opportunity to complain about their working conditions, results, employers and employees. Sometimes they use this platform for the “blame game” for their inadequacies or failures to meet their expected standards all for their own justification. Ultimately and unfortunately for those who happen to be standing around in the line of verbal fire, this negative, complaining gossip leaves a very sour impression to them and an image of dis-loyalty to their company whether they are an owner or and employee.
Are you one of these kinds of business people? Can you think back to a possible occasion where you may have verbalized your discouragement or disagreement on an issue with your business associates or workplace environment that was really inappropriate for those nearby listeners? I know I have, and I would be surprised if you haven’t also. The nature of our flesh and body is survival. Sometimes that motive manifests itself itself in our mental state rather than the physical which is more difficult for us to recognize in ourselves because we are not bleeding or broken and feeling that pain. Worse however for us, is that the mind is the devils workshop and he battles for our minds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ( ) and all too often we allow him the victory. The way Christians speak and act in these workplace situations will always be judged and spoken about, especially by unbelievers and often will become the descriptive label for all the followers of Christ.
It is rather humorous for me to make this observation about puppies when I am not really a “dog person” but I do admire one very unique quality most every dog has that we humans could do well to learn from and that is “LOYALTY”. I have observed that their love for their caretaker is unconditional. They are patient, forgiving and understanding of all the circumstances around them and their only complaint is an occasional bark. They do their dog things consistently and dependably and for that they are rewarded by their owner is some fashion of appreciation that is good enough for them. You can discipline and correct them and apply some consequence for their miss-behaving and the next day they are back up in your lap loving on you ready to start all fresh again. Have you ever heard of someone divorcing or firing their puppy?
Well, I’m not suggesting you start acting like your favorite puppy exactly, but I do think this humorous but applicable example of life around us is an eye opener to a serious issue in the marketplace. I have all too often heard, “I won’t do business with a Christian again after the way I was treated by so-n-so”. Have you heard this yourself? This comment and perceived impression of Christian businesspeople can and must be corrected NOW! Otherwise the ability to evangelize and disciple people to the Lord Jesus will continue to be severely inhibited and negatively effected.
We can all make a significant start by taking the example of the puppy loyalty I wrote of above and that is to be unconditionally loyal, thankful and dedicated for our jobs and to our people we manage. When you are tempted to complain and gripe about your working conditions or employees, just recall that loving puppy who comes to mind that loves you regardless of your shortcomings and apply that approach to your job circumstance. Let me clarify that I am not endorsing any unlawful or immoral orders of course but the daily responsibilities of each of our work positions in the marketplace. And I will add that even a puppy needs discipline at times as do we!
Paul wrote in Eph.6:5-9; “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether is is a slave or free”.
“And masters,treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him”.
We would be interested in any feedback you would care to share with us and hopefully experiences where your efforts to improve your public actions especially in the workplace, had a positive effect on others that gave glory to God.
Blessings…..Rich Forster KBJ Publisher