Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ways To Respond to Limitations

The workplace controversy

My faith matters. What are our personal and religious limitations in the workplace? What did we accept when we choose the profession or trade skill or work task? We not only were called by God to our avocation, we were called also to minister in our avocation? It was Dirty Harry who said, "A man's got to know his limitations." (Magnum Force, 1973) How should we respond to limiting your beliefs?

“There are several ways a faithful Christian can respond when professional expectations limit the ability to apply Christian teachings.

  1. One option is to leave the profession. After all, when Jesus called his first disciples, they left their nets and followed him (Mark 1:16-20, Luke 14:26).
  2. Another option is to stay in the profession but ignore those professional guidelines that encroach on religious teachings. Indeed, the apostles preached the gospel despite strict orders from the Sanhedrin. Peter claimed, "We must obey God rather than men!" (Acts 5:29).
  3. A parallel option is to stay in the profession but promote Christian teachings discreetly so as not to cause friction with supervisors who would disapprove if they knew
  4. Oh. Yes; stay in the profession and agree to practice according to its own guidelines and standards. A person in this role can look for opportunities to promote reconciliation between religious teachings and professional stipulations. (Romans 13:1).
    The best option will often vary according to circumstances.” Gordon College STILLPOINT, Fall 2007

When I arrived before my school superintendent and principal it was made clear, you will wear a jacket and tie, you will be on time and you will have a daily lesson plan. I was referred to by my colleagues as the “token Protestant’. But I was never told that I was restricted in mentioning “God” or “Scriptures” in the classroom. These were among the unsaid rules. There are many forms of “unsaid rules”, those of the administration, of the staff, of the student or client and the community. These are among the limitations.

Ephesians 2: 8-10 For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His work-manship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.

This verse, printed in my Baptismal Certificate booklet over sixty years ago, gives clear indication to me that I am saved to serve. It was not and will not be easy, nor will your choices be easy. Therefore, to say that my faith matters means that in the workplace I have a responsibility to minister with prayer, to provide social transformation and to evangelize. It is the greatest of places to come along side a person and minister. You can either claim Christ or defame Christ.

The truth “we are saved to serve.”

Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle, face it, ’tis God’s gift.
Be strong, be strong, be strong!

Malthie Babcock



Coffee Snob said...

Well said. The final paragraphs make me think of my first post, "In the Bivouac of Life," where I said, "we are called to "act in the Present," and to "be up and doing. . . achieving. . . pursuing" - all under the watchful eye of "God o'erhead."

Indeed - we are not here to play, to dream, to drift.

Anonymous said...


“we are saved to serve.”

I like that; it's a great summary of Eph 2:8-10.

- J.Sayin