Lent Devotional – Faith And Work
March 3, 2023 Creekwood United Methodist Church

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Faith At Work

This year during Lent, we’re focusing on how we can translate the faith we profess to our everyday lives and this week, we’re focusing on the workplace. Jeff Haanen of: the Denver Institute for Faith and Work published an article about the leader of Princeton University’s Faith at Work initiative, listing four main positions workplaces take in regard to faith:

  • Faith-avoiding
  • Faith-tolerant
  • Faith-based
  • Faith-friendly

As a human resources professional, I’ve seen examples of all four of these positions and supported all of them.

More recently, however, I’ve been led to a finer focal point of faith in the workplace, which answers the other question we’re talking about this week: “What Would Jesus do in the workplace?”

The first place to go to find out anything about Jesus is the Bible, but the only reference to a profession aligned to Jesus was that he and his father were carpenters. How Jesus lived and what he taught, however, provide a mountain of evidence as to what he would do at work. In fact, just looking up work alone, there are over 850 passages in the Bible that reference work. Thankfully, Jesus summarized his teachings in two commandments: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (and) love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matt 22:37-39, NIV)

Too simplistic for you? It’s certainly not easy. Loving your neighbor at work is such a difficult task that professors and training experts the world over continue to try and create curriculum to build up our “people skills,” hoping that someday, something will stick. Seriously, though, when talking about love, I go to the definition in I Cor 13 which says,

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Who’s Your Neighbor?

Being loving to friends, to clients or bosses that think you hung the moon is easy. It’s not nearly as easy to be patient with that coworker whose work style you don’t think you’ll ever understand, or kindly respond to a verbally abusive client or supervisor.  But doing so, by the grace of God, will help you have fewer regrets and to shine light and hope into what can sometimes be a difficult and stressful environment. Even when it comes to managing performance or “keeping records of wrongs” to document a case, dealing with the individuals involved can be handled in a loving way. Your neighbor at work is no different than your neighbor at home in needing love, kindness, reassurance and community.

In her bestseller, “Dare to Lead,” Brene Brown said, “If we want people to fully show up, to bring their whole selves including their unarmored, whole hearts—so that we can innovate, solve problems, and serve people—we have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.”

That’s not a bad definition of love either.

Kathy Bradford

Lead Chief of Staff



dust covered Bible

Lent Daily Bible Reading Through the Gospel According to Luke

Today’s reading: Luke 5

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