Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Workday Wednesday: Sharing our faith in the workplace

Let’s talk about a a problem for many Christians today: Sharing our faith.  How do you share your faith with others in a workplace that absolutely prohibits you from speaking about God to your colleagues or students?  How do you share God’s love and hope when you’re prohibited from talking directly about Jesus?

The clue is in the nature of God.  God is love, and as of yet they haven’t managed to outlaw discussions about love.  So, let’s capitalize on that.  Atheists can’t possibly be offended by a discussion about the nature of love, even those atheists that believe it’s all chemicals.  It’s a topic that appeals to all people regardless of religion, marital status, family status, or gender. 

We don’t have to expressly mention God to know that we are talking about Him, and we can wrap our Catholic theology neatly in that package, beginning with what we know Love to be: that decision made to pursue the highest possible good of another even if it means sacrificing some of our own personal happiness to achieve that goal.

This can then lead to all kinds of fruitful discussions about why you don’t use birth control and don’t believe in abortion: more children means more love in the world, and you believe the world can use all the love it can get.  It can lead to discussions about marriage and divorce: you believe that marriage is meant to be the ultimate symbol of unconditional love, and that is why you don’t believe in divorce.  Unconditional love, after all, places no conditions on the love that’s given. It’s willing to forgive no matter how often the love isn’t returned by the one who is loved.  

It can even help you discuss the topic of why you are not in favor of homosexual “marriage”: one of the requirements of love is that it pursue the highest possible good of another.  Homosexual relations never do that. They cause physical, mental, and emotional problems for the partners in the relationship which means that rather than build the people up, it’s destroying them.

There are ways to discuss our faith in the workplace without mentioning God or Jesus Christ. We just have to be more creative about how we approach it, and to use terms that everyone can understand.  It takes more work, but it’s worth it. 

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