As Catholics, Christians, and as people of good will, we are called to be charitable in our dealings with others. This includes in our conversations and in all our interactions. We must be charitable both inside and outside of our homes and living environments. This means that in our professional lives, we are called to be morally upright but also kind, considerate, and charitable. All too often, we can sometimes forget that being a person of faith requires us to remember our “Catholicism” in professional and work interactions. Below are ways to keep charity present in all that we say and do each day.
Be a person of your word
The Eighth Commandment states that we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor. Neighbors do not just refer to those who live in proximity to us, of course, but every person we encounter. This includes co-workers and business associates and contacts. Bearing false witness includes lying, gossiping, back-stabbing, falsely judging, accusing, and more. Being a person of our word means that we do not behave in a “two-faced” manner toward anyone. It means that we avoid bearing false witness at all costs both in life and in business. We do not leave our faith at the door when we walk into an office or begin work for the day. Being a person of your word is of utmost importance.
Do not bully
Bullying is a form of aggressive behaviors or actions in which a person intentionally or repeatedly causes another person discomfort or injury. This behavior can take the form of words, physical contact, or in more subtle actions. Bullying is a problem in various places including homes, schools, neighborhoods, churches, workplaces, and other settings. When bullying occurs at work, it is threatening because the victim may often feel powerless since their workplace is a major source of income and sometimes of support. Bullying is traumatic in many ways since it is an extreme source of anxiety and worry for the one who is being victimized. Kindness and affability are ways that we can help those who have been rejected, hurt, and marginalized in work settings and beyond. Keep in mind that bullying does not just include using words and actions. Ignoring to spite in a work setting is also considered bullying.
Be a person of dialogue
Being open to dialogue is key when it comes to exercising charity in the workplace. Pope Francis has stated, “Amid a culture of indifference which not infrequently turns ruthless, our style of life instead should be devout, filled with empathy, and mercy.” Empathy is an important characteristic to have, especially in work settings where people of different personalities, backgrounds, and cultures come together for the common good. It is unfortunate when co-workers and associates become closed off from one another and purposefully distant in terms of recognizing the good in those around them and in honoring their gifts and talents.
Being a person of dialogue is God’s will as we imitate Christ in being compassionate and kind to everyone we encounter. It is especially sad when a person leaves a work situation or is terminated, and gossip runs rampant. Gossip and false judgements are serious sins to take to the Sacrament of Confession. If we don’t know the full story in a situation, it is wrong to make accusations and cause scandal. Gossip in all forms is morally wrong.
Be a person of prayer
When we pray, we should remember to include the people we come into close contact with, including those we work with. People who work in offices full-time and in other settings often spend a tremendous amount of time together. When we pray for them, we are exercising Christian charity. This is a beautiful gift to others. God is present in every prayer, and in all situations especially when we call on the Holy Spirit for guidance.
The above ways are meant to offer guidance in becoming more open and affable in the workplace through charitable lives. Most importantly, remember not to be selective in your care for co-workers or associates. Everyone deserves kindness, care, and respect, not just some. Pray to the Lord to become more charitable and friendly to all those around you in daily living to do the will of God.