Irving, Texas

It is hard to be Christian when the workplace is wrong

This is Canon Victoria’s letter in our weekly Parish News email.  To sign up for our newsletter, please visit: Constant Contact. To see the full weekly Parish News email from Oct 28th, please visit:

One of the toughest places to be a Christian is an unethical work place.  Recently, I talked with a friend whose large organization is changing.   What was once a humane work culture has worsened. He struggles with a betrayal by a department head.  He knows, as Christian, that he needs to forgive.  Still he does not wish to be seen as weak, and he grieves the ethical decay of his organization.
            This week I was eating lunch by myself in Los Colinas.  I listened as three men at the next table talked.  They seem to work as airfreight pilots.   They were upset about a new management that apparently was trying to shave how much time pilots had between flights.  The conversation wandered, as work place conversations do.  Eavesdropping, I wondered about the kind of courage it takes to stand against cutting corners against new management?  Later this week, I caught up with a friend who now works in a large non-profit.  He has co-workers who were snipping at him and each other behind their backs.  What does it take to “in so far as you can, live at peace with all” (Romans 12:18) when the long knives come out the moment the conference room door shuts?
            For that matter, how does one deal with bosses or people in places of authority who make suggestive sexual remarks?  That happened to me more than once as a younger woman.   I was aghast but also I was silent, afraid for my job.
            A humane and ethical workplace is something for which to thanks God.  I honor those who have to work in places where the ethics and culture are warped.  The advice is, “run, do not walk, to the exit.”  Sometimes one cannot leave a job though.   That door is barred because of age, or because you protect others, or you have dependents.  Balancing being faithful to God in the workplace can be one of the ways that we witness to the God who gave all us the gift and responsibility of work.    This week I am praying for all who have the courage to walk as Christian in their workplace.
— Victoria Heard

One Comment

  1. Jacqueline Maki

    Thank you for these thoughtful observations, Canon Victoria. You helped me be especially mindful of humanity and hospitality and just plain listening to people during more-stressful-than-usual times at our workplace these past two weeks.

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