Originally published June 1st, 2016
We’ve all been through it. Restructures. Mergers. Acquisitions. Lay-offs. These organizational events don’t just redirect company priorities but transform office culture. Suddenly the work environment is swarmed with doubt. Productive teams are reduced to stagnate collectives of uncertainty. Communication and collaboration and replaced with presumptions and suspicions. People are worried because they don’t know enough about what will happen. People are worried because they know too much about what will happen. People are feeling hopeless and they are not shy about expressing how they feel…every day…all day. The hopelessness is contagious and you’re at risk of contamination.
So what’s a Christian to do? How can we live out the hope we have in Christ during uncertain corporate change?
Here’s a few practical things to help you “keep hope alive” at the office:
- Manage You Input: There’s only so many negative conversations around the cubicle a person can take. Yes, you want to be an empathetic ear to your co-workers but know your limits. Your objective is to take their troubles and worries to God not upon yourself. Once you find yourself doing the latter it’s time to take a break and cap your conversation intake.
- Pray Without Delay: During times of corporate change there will undoubtedly be conversations, meetings, and conference calls that will leave you drained and heavy. Don’t wait until the end of the day, while you’re commuting home, or when you arrive at your front door to start praying. Have uncensored prayers with God throughout the day; before, during, and after challenging meetings/conversations.
- Interject Hope: It’s bound to happen. You will find yourself talking with a co-worker or sitting with your team at lunch and someone will ask you, “How are you so calm? What’s keeping you together?” Don’t back down. This is an opportunity for you to give the reason for your hope. It’s doesn’t have to be scripted. Just say a prayer and speak from the heart. You may get some strange looks, but that’s to be expected. They may be seeing faith in action for the first time.
I Peter 3:13-16
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
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