“The beginning of strife is like letting out water. So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14
A good Monday morning! to you! Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone in your workplace and in your particular industry spoke kindly, courteously, respectfully, and selflessly? Unfortunately, that’s a pipe dream. It is even more unfortunate when we (you and I) are the ones who do not speak kindly or in a Christ-like way to those with whom we intersect on a daily basis in our work environments.
How will you respond today if/when someone in your office or workplace insults you or speaks rudely to you in the line of duty? It is natural to bark back, one-up them with rudeness, or hurl an even deeper insult back in their face. (We are all capable of this and our arch-enemy loves nothing more when we fall into the flesh). When we fall prey to such behavior, we often lose any ability to minister to that coworker or person ever again. “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a citadel.” (Prov. 18:19) Some relational breeches at work are almost impossible to fix once they have occurred, especially if you have insulted or humiliated someone publicly. The verse above is a reminder that when words are spoken they are like water released from a dam; you cannot get them back no matter how hard you chase them. Walking away from a fight in your workplace is far better.
Even better, though, than simply walking away from a client or coworker as a result of self-control (that the Holy Spirit can and will give you) is responding with something pleasant and positive. It has been said that there is no demand in our world for negative people. What a truth that is! And when you respond in love to someone who has just bitten your head off, it often surprises them and leaves them speechless. It also gives them an instant snapshot of who Jesus is and a glimpse of His love for them. “A gentle answer turns away wrath…” (Prov. 15:1) Speak gently, carefully, and with an eye to redemption as you talk and respond to others today. Remember, Jesus, when on trial and being oppressed, afflicted and accused of all manner of evil (including being the devil himself) “…He did not open His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7) When He did, He said, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Today’s Workplace Challenge: Demonstrate Christian maturity today… think before speak. When you do speak, do so in a way that will motivate, edify, encourage, or bless others. Let grace be the seasoning that flavors your speech like pepper or salt is to food. Refrain from going on the offensive with your words. Let Christ be your perfect guide. Imitate Him in this and all other areas of life. People are magnetized to positive, humble employees coworkers. You will find that, in time, everyone at work wants to be around you because you always have something uplifting to add to a conversation. Have a great day and really make it count. Be different! Let your words be a workplace asset, not a liability as you serve Him at work!
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