When I think of the things that hinder productive business meetings and impair teamwork among colleagues in corporations, it strikes me that these hindrances are often the same sins that the Bible cautions us against displaying. For example, how many times have these actions (by you or others) affected your company’s productivity?
• Allowing pride to keep you from sharing your ideas with team members
• Displaying anger when your ideas are rejected for better solutions
• Demanding that others listen to you when you should be listening to the counsel of those around you
• Not accepting responsibility when you fail to complete a task, solve a problem or meet the budget (i.e., shifting the blame)
Our behavior as business professionals can lead others toward Christ or drive them away. James 1:19-20 states that we should “be quick to listen [and] slow to speak.” Can you imagine how much more we might learn as managers if we followed this advice and listened more and spoke less? In this same passage, James also implores us to be “slow to become angry.” How many times has our anger provided a source of negative motivation to employees?
As I strive to be a valued team member and a respected manager within my company, I have found the Bible to be an applicable guide along that path. I have also discovered that reflecting on passages of Scripture before attending a meeting can bring me a sense of humility. It encourages me to set aside my own agenda so that I can listen and learn from my team members.
Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to apply these biblical principles and “deny myself” in the business world, especially when that world encourages me to look out for myself and climb the corporate ladder—regardless of whether that involves stepping on others along the way. When these corporate tendencies cloud my judgment, I try to picture Jesus as the CEO of a company. What values would He want His employees to embody? It’s likely that Jesus would want His employees to value the same things that we find throughout the Scriptures—the values that can guide us to behave in a way that leads our coworkers toward Christ.
Point to Ponder
Is Jesus the CEO of your personal life and your corporate life?
Questions to Consider
1. When you are at work, are you “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”? How can you put these principles into action?
2. Are you a good example for Christ in your workplace? Why or why not? What hinders you from being a Christlike example at work?
3. Is the Bible an applicable guide in your life at work? How do you think Jesus would work if He had your job?
This article was originally published on the Crosswalk Careers channel in September of 2007.