Does God belong at work?

This blog is primarily about how to live your faith at work, but ABC has an interesting article about how to practice your faith on the job.

Our take is that you should exercise your beliefs first through your actions – Jesus said to love your neighbor and that means we need to love those in the cubicle next to us. The Ten Commandments tell us not to steal, so our timecards should be accurate. The Apostle Paul tells us not to slack off just because we are slaves and so on.

Far too many people of all faith groups have substituted an inner-change with external rituals. To be “religious” only means you are habitual in your practices. If your faith is all about external practices and not about the heart, then what’s the point of making a stink at work? Why are we shocked when the world acts worldly? And who are we to demand that they act like we do?

Don’t get me wrong — the workplace shouldn’t be hostile toward religious expression –– but their can be a limit when it comes to allowances for expression. If you believe that a goat must be sacrificed at high noon, safety and health concerns can – and should – trump that. If you must be excused for hourly prayers for extended periods, then you might be best not to saddle your employer with such a request.

A recent case in Minneapolis, where Target’s check out clerks wanted the food they scan to be ‘pork free’ was an accommodation, was simply too much.

There are many jobs out there that I wouldn’t do because of my faith. For example, I would not be a bartender. It would be outrageous to take a job in a bar, and then demand that I not come into contact with booze. I choose to find work in other fields and so should you if you are offended.

So accommodations like the ABC article suggests are fine – allowing private space for noon prayer meetings, providing chaplains, and allowing time off for religious holidays. But as religious people we should less about demanding accommodation and more about working to the best of our abilities so our God gets the glory.

What do you think? Leave a comment below….

About David Rupert

Newsletter Editor for the High Calling Find me over at http://www.RedLetterBelievers.com
This entry was posted in Authentic Living, Public faith, Workplace faith. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Does God belong at work?

  1. Anonymous says:

    This type of thinking sounds like what people constantly said to me when I, as a pharmacist, refused to dispense the abortifacient drug known as Plan B. Dispensing life-ending therapies was previously not required by pharmacists. This new drug put me in a position of asking my employer for permission to opt-out, which I was denied and then I was ultimately fired for my refusal. When something new comes along in our jobs and it is inherently evil, Christians must resist, but then we are criticized by even our fellow Christians as being demanding and self-centered and imposing our religious beliefs on others. The alternative, though, is for us to participate in the deliverance of medication, the sole purpose of which is to harm very young human life, something which violates my religiously informed conscience. Sometimes working for the glory of God means resisting what the workplace is demanding and calling loudly to your fellow professionals that they should also resist. In this instance, I could not carve out a safe place where I could express my religion. My religion demanded that I not intentionally harm life, no matter how young, no matter how forcefully my employer demanded it. Fellow Christians have largely accommodated the demand to dispense this, telling themselves they are excused from guilt somehow because they were just following someone else’s order. Woah! Where have we heard that before?

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