by Fletcher Lowe
I meet once a month with a small group of friends to discuss their experiences as Christians in their places of work. The discussion-starter is usually an article related to some aspect of the workplace. Recently we talked about an article entitled “5 Ways to Bless Others with Your Words at Work,” published by the Theology of Work. The underlying scripture was Numbers 6:24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. I added James 3:10: From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.
As we discussed each one of the five ways of blessing, we saw how it related not only to the workplace but to all other aspects of daily life. For your own reflection let me share them:
- Express Welcome. We felt that being approachable was at the heart of welcome.
- Eliminate Blame Shifting. It does involve holding people accountable, but focusing on the fault, not the person; the “sin, not the sinner.” Also acknowledging that risk-taking is an asset that leads to some failures. And that failures often lead to growth, more than successes.
- Reconciling Broken Relationship. This we really struggled with, for often people bring outside baggage into the workplace that triggers brokenness. And even within an organization/community/family it can be difficult to resolve, but try we must.
- Be Careful Not to Judge. We found this to be connected with Blaming, looking to the fault, not the person.
- Show Appreciation: How important is this!! Expressing gratitude – especially to those whose work is less glamorous or visible – is so very valuable and affirming.
The article concludes with these words:
Empowered by Christ
When we use our words to bless others, we do so knowing that we’ve been blessed in the same ways through our relationship with Jesus. Jesus welcomes us just as we are; makes us blameless – and therefore unafraid and unashamed – before himself and God; reconciles us to himself; and even describes us as “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Because we enjoy his kindness and friendship, we are empowered to extend blessing to those around us.