在職場的真誠信仰

By Rick Boxx

人們在職場表達自己信仰是一件爭議性的事。有人認為在職場談任何有關信仰的事都不恰當,他們似乎認為有一個文件清楚要求「教會與工作必須分離」。其他人則主張表達自己的信仰是天生的權力,不論他在哪個場所。到底誰是正確的呢?

我的朋友,普瑞斯登.包曼最近在部落格談論他認為在工作中談論宗教的適當性。他提供了一些智慧的建議:

「假如上帝在你生命中佔有一個非常真實的部份,不需隱瞞,也不要強迫別人。自由且自然地談到你的生命、你的價值觀和你的信仰。」然而他也提出這個警告:「絕對不要用上帝或宗教語言去使別人對你有好印象或贏得生意。」

這個觀點與使徒保羅在新約聖經中所贊成的作法相符合:「我們不像那許多人,為利混亂神的道;乃是由於誠實,由於神,在神面前憑著基督講道」(哥林多後書2章17節)。

你是否遇過某個人試圖利用宗教作為銷售工具?可能在名片或文具上加印一句宗教話語或聖經經文,讓別人看到他是「信徒」?這不是說我們應該以我們真心相信的信仰為恥。但展現信仰為的是試圖增加生意或吸引客戶,這就是如保羅所說的「為利混亂神的道」。

此外,有時談論信仰是可被接受的--但有時是不被接受的。除非你受聘為駐公司的牧師,你的工作內容可能不會包括講道或在工作中長時間談論信仰。有效傳達信仰的最佳方式之一就是把我們的工作做得卓越--也就是專心工作。

在工作時若有人問到你的信仰,你應該「就要常作準備,以溫柔、敬畏的心回答各人」(彼得前書3章15節)。但那人問你問題的時刻並不是你回答的最佳時刻。最好是在午餐或休息時安排時間來討論這個主題,這樣才不會讓人指責你沒有專心工作。

另一個考量是我們是否言行合一。如有人曾說:「若你言行不一,最好少說話。」我們所住的這個世界裡,似乎每個人都有自己各種的信仰和意見。唯一知道他們確實相信自己所言的方法是看他們的生活與言語是否合一。如耶穌所說:「你們的光也當這樣照在人前,叫他們看見你們的好行為,便將榮耀歸給你們在天上的父」(馬太福音5章16節)。

所以在工作場所表達我們的信仰到底是否合適?我的回答是:不要害怕講出你的價值觀,只要那是誠摯、真實的。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

思想 / 討論題目
對於人們在工作場所談論個人信仰,你有何看法? 你是否曾覺得某人談論他自己信仰的方式很明顯不恰當? 你是否認為個人生活和專業行為與所聲稱的信仰一致是重要的?為什麼? 對於作者的建議:「不要害怕講出你的價值觀,只要那是誠摯、真實的」,你有何看法?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
馬太福音28章19-20節;加拉太書6章9-10節;以弗所書6章19-20節;歌羅西書4章5-6節;雅各書2章14-18節

SINCERE, AUTHENTIC BELIEFS IN THE WORKPLACE

By Rick Boxx

There is a controversy about individuals expressing their spiritual beliefs in the workplace. Some people believe any statements of faith in a professional setting are inappropriate, as if somewhere a document explicitly mandates a “separation of church and work.” Others would contend that verbalizing what a person believes is an inherent right, regardless of where they happen to be. Who is correct?

My friend, Preston Bowman, in a recent blog post discussed his views on the appropriateness of mixing business and religion. He offered some wise advice:

"If you are someone for whom God is a very real part of your life," Preston wrote, "do not hide it and do not force it. Speak freely and naturally about your life, your values, and your beliefs.” However, he also offered this warning: “Never use God or religious language to impress someone or get you further in business."

This perspective fits well with the approach the apostle Paul endorsed in the New Testament of the Bible when he wrote, "Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God" (2 Corinthians 2:17).

Have you ever encountered someone who attempted to use religion or spirituality as a marketing tool? Perhaps by including a religious saying or Bible passage on a business card or stationery to identify themselves to other “believers”? That is not to say we should ever be ashamed of sincerely held beliefs. But displaying them primarily as an attempt to increase business or attract clients amounts to, just as the apostle stated, “peddling the word of God for profit.”

In addition, there are times when it is acceptable to talk about faith matters – and times when it is not. Unless you have been hired as the company chaplain, your job description probably does not include preaching sermons or conducting lengthy spiritual dialogues during work hours. One of the best ways of communicating our faith effectively is by doing our job with excellence – and that means staying on task.

If someone asks a question about your faith during the course of the workday, you should “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). But the exact moment the question is asked might not be the best time to respond. It might be better to arrange to discuss the subject over lunch, or during a work break, so no one can accuse you of not giving your best work to your organization at all times.

The other consideration is whether our actions are consistent with what we say. As someone once said, “If your walk does not equal your talk, the less you say the better.” We live in a world where it seems everyone has beliefs and opinions of all kinds. The only way to know that they sincerely believe what they say is whether their lives and words are in agreement. As Jesus said, “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

So in response to the question of whether it is appropriate to express our beliefs in the workplace, my answer is: Don’t be afraid to speak up about your values, but only if they are sincere and authentic.

Copyright 2011, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What are your views about people discussing their personal beliefs in the workplace? Have you ever been in a situation when you felt someone was talking about his or her faith or spiritual matters in a manner that was clearly inappropriate? Explain your answer. Do you think it is important for one”s personal and professional actions to be consistent what they claim to believe spiritually? Why or why not? How do you respond to Mr. Boxx”s suggestion, “Don’t be afraid to speak up about your values, but only if they are sincere and authentic”? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Matthew 28:19-20; Galatians 6:9-10; Ephesians 6:19-20; Colossians 4:5-6; James 2:14-18

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