I was blessed last week with the opportunity to preach. I shared the story of Hosea where God asks him to marry someone who would be unfaithful to him. After leaving him and their three children for a wayward lifestyle, she finds herself sold into slavery. Hosea buys her back and takes her home to be his wife.
This story is God’s love in action. Wholly unconditional love. Hating the bad choices, loving the person. Underlining the eternal value of one.
Since then, I’ve been thinking- what truth does this story have for the workplace? How does it apply to relationships on the job? There has to be a lesson in there somewhere, doesn’t there?
Never fear, I think there is. I find that the stories shared in the Bible powerfully teach truths about God, His relationship to us, and how He saves us. Often, I also find applications for human-to-human relationships, how we interact with each other.
A hospital laboratory is a busy, high stress environment. There’s constant opportunity for conflict, misunderstanding and critical behavior. Relationships become strained as people feel under attack or under-valued.
Often, we are so “baby with the bathwater” focused. We can’t seem to separate the actions from the actor, the deeds from the doer. How often do we start sentences with “You are so…” or “I’m mad at you…” Or even worse, “She is such a…” or “He is totally…” In every workplace, every day, we efficiently tear each other down and damage their feeling of value and purpose.
Like a deer caught in the headlights, a coworker stands with mouth hanging open, hearing a personal attack about something she’s never thought. We freely attack each other’s appearance, character and motives, often with disastrous results.
As a leader, it is part of my role to counsel coworkers when there are opportunities for growth and improvement. It’s so easy to make statements that cut- “You are so lazy. You are careless. You embarrass me. You are a liar.”
How much better would it be if we followed God’s example when He hates the sin, loves the sinner. What if we found ways to place high value on the people within our circles at work, leaving the character assassination behind?
Notice to all my laboratorians, I may show this imperfectly and fail regularly. However, know that I value and appreciate you as part of the family at work. You have been gifted with a unique blend of talents and passions that is true of no other. You are a critical and special part of the whole! I love how all of you can work together, providing excellent care and caring for others. I promise to separate the actions needing guidance from your value as a person. Even when I fail, know that this is my goal and intention.
Father thank You for providing such a game-changing example for me. Give me the strength and the wisdom to follow.