"He has shown you, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8 NIV)
Entrepreneurs start businesses to make a difference. As the owner of a Physiotherapy practice, I wanted to make a difference in the lives of patients. As more staff were hired, it was also important that I provided a work place where they grew in their profession and felt supported. As I deal with plans, projects and processes I see my business as not just something “I do," rather it is also my ministry in “how I do it.”
When working with a group of people, there will always be differences of opinion. Justice and grace must go "hand-in-hand" in the workplace as we focus on doing the right thing with grace and kindness. This is not always so easy in the busyness of the workplace, the demands put on us, and the pressure we put on ourselves. However, it is something we can continue to improve.
God has told us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him. Different versions of Micah 6:8 will refer to kindness, mercy, or grace. The Hebrew Bible uses the word "grace." I would sum this up by saying God tells us to "do the right thing, do it with kindness, grace, and respect and depend on Him at all times."
It does not matter what the situation is. What matters is that we approach all issues in the way God requires of us.
Have you had situations this past week where you felt you needed to be reminded of this? This past week, I conducted a performance review with a staff member who has been struggling with some work issues. A conventional way of handling this issue would be to be very pragmatic and direct on what needed to improve and how. However, it seemed that a different approach was needed, one which was delivered with kindness and grace to soften the situation and focus on the areas needing to improve. I initiated the Performance Review by saying, "Let's have a conversation." I knew this person had high work standards, but some insecurities had affected their ability to manage time and address conflict. This related to the areas which needed improvement and was handled in a supportive way, not "this is the exact way you need to do it."
Sometimes, but especially during all the stress of COVID, people need to see they are valued and have support. They need to be confident we are all in it for "the long haul," and things can continue to improve. This meeting resulted in a positive attitude towards improvement where the staff member indicated they felt valued and that, with support, could continue to improve.
As business owners, there are areas we are responsible for and must take action when needed. This is “doing justice”. However, addressing the person’s heart and expressing grace is the important part of “doing kindness”. And all of this is done by not just depending on our own feelings or outlook but by “walking humbly" with God. The Holy Spirit clearly taught me to put the printed Performance Appraisal down and first address the heart of the person sitting across from me.
This coming week, as you deal with the busyness of work, Christmas preparations and everything going on, take time to reflect on grace and take it to work. See what God can do.
Next week, we will be going deeper into Grace at Work and some “food for thought” as we consider the role of grace at work in the New Year.
May God richly bless you this week! Merry Christmas!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work