God’s going to sit this one out
Given that we are now through the holiday season, and as far as I can tell the “war on Christmas” wasn’t as fierce as years past, I thought this was as good a time as any to talk about God.
From some of my posts in the past, you have probably ascertained that I adhere to a core religious belief – I am an unapologetic Christian. I will not shy away from telling you that I went to church Sunday, nor will I refrain from reading my Bible during lunch or praying before having a tough conversation, and I had no issue wishing you a Merry Christmas these past few weeks. At the same time, I also know that there is a line that cannot be crossed at work, which is what I want to talk about today – where God fits into the workplace.
I keep a Bible in my office, and I have for most of my professional career. The one that I have at the moment is a ratty looking number, the “leather” is flaking off and I frequently find myself sweeping flecks of it from my desk. Given that I actually do most of my Bible reading from my phone or tablet anymore, it mostly serves as a reminder to me and my duties, not the least of which is the conviction that I have a biblical obligation to 1.) my employer to look out for their best interest, and 2.) to be fair and just to everyone I engage with, and my little ratty, flaking Bible reminds me of this. While it is not in a prominent place in my office, it isn’t hidden either. Occasionally people will ask about it, some asking if it is OK for me to even have it, as though it were a Ziploc sandwich bag of weed with a price tag attached. So, religion at work is not something that I shy away from, but like so many things, there is a line that can get crossed.
Let’s say that someone is in my office who has engaged in, shall we say, unethical behavior. I am well within my responsibilities to address the issue as it relates to company policy, procedures, reasonable expectations, or any applicable laws. Where I cross the line is if I pick up my Bible, turn to Leviticus and spell out how this is a direct violation of God’s law. That is not my place.
Another example is pushing someone to come to church. It is one thing to say that I attend church, or even to say where I attend. It is an entirely different thing to make someone feel that they have an obligation to come to church with me, even if they clearly need some Jesus in their life.
Having a Bible in my office is one thing, but slipping Bibles in everyone’s office and cubicle – that becomes proselytizing and can very quickly become a problem.
Of course, there are other examples, but this is where your common sense needs to kick in. The best advice I can give though is simple: keep the faith, but within boundaries, and practice what you preach.