Do you bring Christ to your workplace? If you work for a faith-based organization, the answer to that question may be an easy “yes.” However, the vast majority of Catholics and Christians work in secular institutions. What happens then? Should Christians leave their faith behind when they enter the office door?
In Hope for the Workplace: Christ in You, Bill Dalgetty emphasizes the importance of integrating one’s faith with one’s work. As Louis Grams, co-founder of Christians in Commerce, writes in the foreword,
“In a pluralistic culture, there are often necessary (and some not so necessary) restraints on what we can say in public . . . but there should be no restraint on living lives of justice, honesty, mercy, forgiveness, or love – in other words, living as Christ.”
God values our work. Through our efforts, we help in the ongoing process of creation. Jesus was a man of work, a carpenter for most of his adult life. Of the 52 parables recorded in Scripture, 45 are set in a workplace. “Our purpose is not just to lead a godly life so we can go to heaven when we die. As the Parable of the Talents suggests, God also wants our lives and actions to yield and increase for his kingdom on earth here and now.”
The type of work that Dalgetty speaks of is not always for pay. Stay-at-home mothers will be pleased that he includes their often unseen work in his discussions. But for those who work outside the home, there is much practical advice on how to bring faith into the workplace.
Prayer is the centerpiece of all those efforts – prayer in order to communicate and grow closer with God and also prayer for one’s coworkers and superiors.
Dalgetty shares the stories of several workers in order to illustrate how it is possible and desirable to make one’s faith an integral part of one’s work life. Many do so simply by the example that they offer. Others have had to make difficult choices, resulting in some seemingly negative professional consequences, but all of these individuals were still happy they stood up for what was right. God “desires to be present in our workplaces just as much as he desires to be present in our families and churches through us.”
Hope for the Workplace is a much-needed book. The business world needs people of faith to provide a good example of how to live and conduct business in an ethical, responsible manner. All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Christians in Commerce.
Copyright 2013 Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur