Updated: May 16
"Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart." (Proverbs 3:3)
Some things naturally go together well: salt & pepper, hammer & nails, cheese & crackers, hugs & kisses. There are probably other pairs which come to mind, but you know what I mean!
Did you know the Bible also gives us many examples of spiritual things which go together? I have noticed that when I research a specific word in the Bible, it often is seen with another particular word. One example of a "spiritual pair" is "truth and kindness." It is not a surprise how God puts these two words together, as so often in the workplace, we should not have truth without kindness nor kindness without truth.
A few years ago, I had a staff member struggling with the tasks of being a receptionist. There continued to be things slipping through the cracks, and we had discussed them. I had decided that if this person did not speak with me by a specific day, then I would need to have an earnest discussion with them regarding the next steps. In fact, this person approached me on that day, stating they felt it was best if they resigned. We had an excellent conversation, and I offered to pay for a consultant to help decide which kind of job this person was best suited for. We remain friends to this day.
This is an example of how to bring your faith to work by bringing truth and kindness. It was not about just telling this person what they were doing wrong (truth). It was also about giving them time to improve, or process, and supporting them in their decision (kindness). It was not one without the other. It would not have been kind for me to let them continue to struggle, as this would have ultimately led to frustration and more problems for both of us and the clinic's daily functions. Instead, being truthful allowed them to reflect and make their own decision. Then, I also had the opportunity to show kindness by walking with this person in their next steps of discovering what job would be a better match. I appreciated having a chance to demonstrate kindness while dealing with the truth of the situation.
God has advised us to take both truth and kindness to work.
Another example of this is making sure we think before we speak. Before commenting on an issue, we must ensure we have all the facts (truth) as we speak respectfully and wisely (kindness).
Are there times when you rush into a conversation without having all the facts? If so, ask God to help you change this habit!
Are there times when you avoid telling an employee about a concern? If so, change this habit as sometimes, the kindest thing you can do is show them where they can improve so they do not continue to make errors and cause tension in the workplace. Again, truth and kindness go together.
This week, practice taking your faith to work by bringing truth and kindness every day. Consider at least one thing you can do differently this week. Ask God to give you the strength, wisdom and courage to bring truth and kindness to your workplace.
Christian Women at Work Prayer:
"Lord, in my everyday work, there are many instances when I interact with people. Help me always to combine truth with kindness. When I need to say something, and I am concerned it may be difficult for the other person to hear, help me be kind in my approach and suggestions. Give me the strength to speak the truth even though my heart may be hurting for them. Remind me, You are always in control and may actually have something else in mind for them that is better! My job is to seek wisdom as I analyze and make decisions and then be truthful and kind in my conversations with people You have put in my path. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
Have a wonderful week as you concentrate on truth and kindness at work!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work