Oftentimes the focus for being Christ in the workplace is on servant leadership for our Faith Positive Radio guests.
Now I’ve read Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership. And yet I wanted to see what the Bible says about how a servant of Christ acts. That’s when I discovered this verse.
My first reaction was, “Wow! This description is challenging to implement.” And yet when I broke it down, it became more doable. Let me break it down for you so you can work Faith Positive as Christ’s servant:
First, exchange quarreling for kindness to everyone.
Typically quarreling shuts down listening. You defend your position. Eric Hoffer wrote in True Believer: “a fanatic screams loudest when his case is the weakest.” An argumentative manner exposes only insecurity.
Paul tells Timothy exchange quarreling for kindness. An ability to listen beyond the words. To seek to understand. To choose compassion over correctness.
The challenge here for me, and I bet you as well, are those two little words, to everyone. I’m kind to the clients I like to do business with. I’m kind to those team members who agree with me. I’m kind to my Linkedin connections who think I hung the moon and a few stars, too.
Not so much to the rest of them who challenge me in a myriad of ways.
Jesus said something like, What have you really done when you love those who love you? Anybody can do that.
Working Faith Positive as a Christ servant means you exchange quarreling for kindness to everyone.
Second, engage others as a teacher.
It’s easy to do business as transactions only. You exchange goods or services for money. You tell a teammate what to do. You input to get output.
Paul has a different model for teaching in mind. Rather than transaction, Paul means transformation. His relationship with Timothy was more than, “Here’s what Jesus said. Now go do it.”
It was discovering who Timothy was—knowing his mother’s and grandmother’s names, how they taught Timothy a rich faith, and how that shaped his spiritual development. It was knowing his gifts and graces, weaknesses and woes. Paul taught Timothy the ways of the Holy Spirit and mid-wifed their birth and growth in him.
Servants of Christ in the workplace meet their customers, teammates, and vendors where they are and facilitate the best spiritual practices from within them. They teach Christ’s ways by engaging through modeling and probing questions.
Working Faith Positive as a Christ servant means you engage others as a teacher.
Third, empathize with others.
When I’m impatient with a client or team member it’s usually because I’ve emotionally shifted from “we” to “me.” My needs for doing a task my way in my time supersede everyone else’s.
I’m sure you’ve never acted like that, right?
Paul tells Timothy Christ’s servants are patient with difficult people or Eeyore Vampires who suck the faith, joy, and love out of everything and everybody. Even though you cringe when they walk through the door or their name pops up on Caller ID.
Be patient with them.
How do you do that?
Trading places to get on their side of the table. Like Jesus did in coming down from heaven to be with us.
The blooms of patience grow best in the rich soil of empathy.
Working Faith Positive as a Christ servant means you empathize with others.
As you exchange quarreling for kindness, engage as a teacher, and empathize with others, you increase your faith with greater joy at work and love God and others more. Work Faith Positive in a negative world!
Find out more about how you can positively develop as a Christ servant at Amazon.