Holy Hints Thursday – January 24, 2013

It's Holy Hints Thursdays!!!

It’s Holy Hints Thursdays!!!

Many of us work in the public sector. Even if not, if you work, you can sometimes view life and death issues differently than your peers. I have bumped up against differing opinions from day one in the work world. For several years, I acted as my personality dictated from my childhood – I kept it to myself. Now that I’ve been living an integrated lifestyle, where my faith is at the core of my being (as it always was, but now I acknowledge it), I am able to see where both my words and actions can do one of two things during the work day: edify or tear down. I want to edify, and I want to be Pro-Life in all areas of my life, including my work life.

Realizing that is sometimes difficult, may I offer the following Holy Hints:

1. Start your day with a smile! Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Using your nonverbal communication, and starting each interaction with a smile speaks all languages. It is a language of love, and of edification. Being Pro-Life means starting all of your interactions with love.

2. Remember that everyone you engage with each day is a creation of God, and though their beliefs may be different, our calling, even in the work place, is to view them with the eyes of God. This is going to require a different attitude. This means that the person with the worse reputation, the worse behavior, the worse performance – we are still called to treat them in our actions with dignity, respect, and comfort. This does not excuse poor performance or inappropriate conflict, but it does mean we use strategies to handle that appropriately and professionally, and have behavior that would distinguish us from those who would calumniate, cut down, gossip about, etc. As I think about this Holy Hint, I am reminded of Fantine in Les Mis – when her reputation was ruined because women in her work place calumniated, and owned her unearned reputation. This is NOT the Christian way. It is NOT the Pro-Life way.

3. If someone is asking your opinion about abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, mercy killing, etc., understand the Catholic teaching, and couch your response through the filter of the Pro-Life stance of the Church. This can be difficult, I know. I have witnessed some incredibly horrible stances on social media reacting to national issues related to Pro-Life causes. Know that the Catholic Church is across the board, Pro-Life. Knowing your catechism in this area is a good way to prepare both your heart and your words for Pro-Life conversations.

4. Live with JOY at work: Jesus first, others next, you last. At work, that will mean your actions exemplify Jesus. Your next goal is to serve those around you, including your supervisor, your colleagues, those you supervise, etc. Counter-culturally, you are last. This keeps us humble, which is a virtue! Living with JOY in this way keeps our priorities in line while at work. You may still have a to-do list that never ends, but you know relationships and people are more important than recognition and product.

5. Care about what is going on with your employees! REALLY CARE! This is going to mean that you learn about them on a personal level. Being Pro-Life means that we care about life at all levels – the unborn, the young, the old, those who work! What are their needs? Is there something you can do to lighten their load? Is there something you can do to show them trust and respect? Grace and mercy? Pro-Life is extending grace and mercy all the time. We should not avoid truth; grace and mercy is part of that, as well.

I know this is not a list of radical concepts. However, in the work world, we sometimes forget that it is the simple things that can be the most transformational. In the past, I have had young employees seek me out after abortions, because they knew I would listen. And they needed that to start their healing and conversion. I hate that they had an abortion, but I am thankful to God they were able to find transformation of heart because someone was able to extend grace and mercy. That comes from a Pro-Life attitude in the work world.

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