Forgiveness at work is difficult but possible
When she had been working at her startup job for eight months, Cerys was asked to go to China to help oversee the assembly and shipment of a new product. She had never done this type of work before, and she only had a few days warning before being asked to board a plane for a foreign country.
“I ended up working 12-hour days, six days a week, whilst I was there for the entire month,” Cerys says of her experience in China. “One of the directors ended up flying back home, so I was left there on the other side of the world, having to work these crazy long hours and seeing things through that I'd never seen through before. And I just generally felt like there wasn't much thankfulness on their part for the fact I was doing this.”
When she got home, Cerys wondered how she should deal with the anger and frustration she felt. What should she say to her boss? Would she be able to forgive him?
The workplace can be one of the hardest places to practice forgiveness. You may have to keep working with anyone who hurts you, and the rift can put your job opportunities and financial well-being at risk. There may be power imbalances, and even if not, it can be hard to create a safe space to work out the conflict. Jesus understood how hard forgiveness can be, and his requirement to forgive is intertwined with advice on conflict resolution and the restoration of relationships.
You’ll learn in this plan that forgiveness doesn’t mean letting bad behavior slide. Resolving the conflict or making changes to stop the hurt at work are necessary first steps. At the same time, forgiveness is at the heart of Jesus’ mission. Jesus describes his own death and resurrection as a conduit for forgiveness and reconciliation.
To sum up, it’s worth it to pursue the steps of conflict resolution and forgiveness, no matter how challenging that is to do in the modern workplace.
Prayer: God, thank you for your work on the cross. Please point me in the direction of forgiveness and be present in my workplace today. Amen.
Further Exploration: In this video, the president of GloryBee says conflict helps him grow at work.