Written by: Teresa Devine, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Can expressing faith at work impact toxic workplaces? After a dreadful commute to the corporate office, Amber arrives unscathed and scouts for an open parking spot. She steps out of the car and lets out a heavy sigh, her eyes fixed on the towering building before her. Each day seems like a battlefield surrounded by glass and silent land mines.
Office gossip creates endless distractions. The manager she reports to is infamous for undermining employees and belittling their progress in front of everyone. He loves taking credit. Negativity and paranoia create a toxic environment where trust is scarce, and kindness is a fading virtue.
One day, after a humiliating meeting, Amber raced to the bathroom feeling nauseous. Looking in the mirror, she realized she couldn’t bear the toxic culture any longer. With her head down and arms crossed, she wanders toward her cubicle, contemplating resume updates in her mind. She sits at her desk to finish a document, avoiding eye contact. Then these distinct words whisper in her mind. “Let your light shine in this dark place. Don’t give up.”
She covers her mouth peering around the room. A somber silence and frowning faces occupy the space as a warm and calming sensation covers her body. Instead of looking for a new job, she embarks on a transformative journey to share the light of Christ in her workplace.
Amber realizes she cannot change anyone, but she can influence their behavior by emulating the character of Jesus. Overall, she likes her job and wants to be part of the solution instead of running away from work culture frustrations. But can one person really make a difference?
5 Ways to share Faith at Work
1. Extend Grace: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” - Luke 6:27-28.
Amber puts this scripture into action. Instead of being defensive, she responds to hostility with grace and compliments. Her humble calmness gains immediate traction as a beacon of peace amidst the chaos.
Within weeks, she witnesses harshness weakening among her team and a slow decline of negativity. Although the toxicity remains, the positive response encourages her. Patience is key.
2. Establish Relationships: “By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” - John 13:35.
Instead of participating in office gossip, Amber sticks up for the victims and walks away from negative conversations. She attempts to build relationships with her colleagues on a personal level and encourages them. It’s difficult, but she extends kindness to those who were hostile towards her in the past. Genuine friendships build over time, breaking down walls of mistrust.
3. Work with Integrity: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for humans.” - Colossians 3:23.
Amber is a hard worker and gives her best to every task, not for recognition or advancement, but because she sees her work as worship. Her commitment to excellence and honesty stands out, even grabbing the attention of her manager. So much so, he calls her into his office and commends her for her contributions. He said, “keep it up.”
Amber walks out of his office smiling. She’s delighted that her choice to increase her faith at work is paying off for her and the entire team.
4. Serve Others: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Mark 10:45.
Amber looks for opportunities to serve her team by offering additional help with projects, bringing in snacks, or just lending an ear. Her service gains attention and replaces the negative atmosphere with a supportive and collaborative one. She’s making an impact.
5. Stay Grounded in Prayer: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” - Philippians 4:6.
Amber prays relentlessly. She cannot tackle this endeavor without God’s strength. Prayer keeps her grounded and focused on fulfilling her greater purpose of honoring God. Through her connection with Jesus, she finds the strength to persevere, the wisdom to navigate tough situations, and the love to share with others.
Faith at work results
After several months, a visible shift occurs in the office. Amber’s consistent display of Christ-like character sparks a ripple effect she did not anticipate. Even her manager softened his hostile tone towards others. Still rough around the edges, but noticeably affected by the quiet strength and grace displayed by Amber.
Although it's not an overnight success, Amber's work environment is more tolerable and often enjoyable. She didn’t quit. Her efforts serve as a testament to the power of embodying Jesus’s teachings, even in the most unlikely surroundings.
In her desire to improve work-life for herself, Amber raises the bar and others soon follow, emulating the example of Jesus. Maybe you will be the next Amber in your workplace.
Toxic workplaces are serious business
A new survey from the American Psychological Association revealed that 19% of workers say their workplace is very or somewhat toxic, and those who reported a toxic workplace were more than three times as likely to have said they have experienced harm to their mental health at work than those who report a healthy workplace (52% vs. 15%).
APA’s 2023 Work in America Survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,515 employed adults nationwide between April 17 and April 27, 2023.
Teresa Devine, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Teresa Devine is a former Fortune 500 executive giving up her lucrative tech career to help Christians go deeper spiritually, heal past pain, and live vivaciously. During her career, the demands took over and life's priorities were upside down. God revealed how to prioritize Him first and her life transformed. Teresa shares proven methods to help align with God and unleash the incredible life He intended. Teresa is CEO of Teresa Devine Co. LLC, creator of 24/7 Purpose®️ Academy and MindTrap Method™️ advanced training. Her mission: Swap the daily grind for daily impact.