Have you ever experienced a dispute with a coworker? I’ve seen it happen. Sometimes it’s obvious, like when two people get into unhealthy communication. There’s tension, jealousy and resentment.
Sometimes it happens on a personal level between two or more people outside of the workplace; suddenly there’s gossip, grudges and anger that can spread like wildfire.
Worldly wisdom says this is okay – as long as it doesn’t interfere with performance at work. After all, you don’t have to like your coworker; you just have to do what you’re supposed to do in your job or office setting, right? Well, as Christians, we’re called to a higher standard. On one hand, it’s correct to say you don’t have to like your coworkers because God doesn’t call you to like them— but the reality is, he calls you to love them.
Over and over, the Bible talks about living in peace with one another, loving one another and living in unity as one body of believers. Even in our workplace, that means we need to be slow to anger, jealousy, resentment and judgment, and instead, be quick to understand and forgive.
When someone at work performs better than us, God asks us to rejoice as they rejoice rather than holding it against them. When they have a tough time, we’re supposed to come alongside them and encourage them rather than seeing it as an opportunity to outdo them. When someone on the team wrongs us, we should seek to be reconciled with them quickly, rather than harboring a grudge or refusing to forgive.
Teamwork doesn’t just mean getting the job done alongside other people. It means we truly take the attitude of Christ, as the Apostle Paul spoke about in the Bible.
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” – Colossians 3:14-15
When we live out that same humility toward others and seek to live (and work) in peace and unity, we truly exemplify the biblical standard of teamwork.
Written by Julie Grabeel, senior executive assistant for Buckner International.