March 2, 2014

When Respect is not Respected

Recently a colleague and I disagreed on something at work.  I was trying to look at the perspective of everyone involved, while my colleague did not have the same perspective.  This was mostly due to the fact that they had missed several of the meetings I had attended to gain the knowledge and viewpoint I had gained.

In my position I try to take a view that sees where everyone is coming from.  My perspective hopefully comes from “seeking first to understand”, and trying to find a solution that is agreeable to all.

In this instance though, my colleague disagreed with my position.  Now we all know that we can disagree in the workplace – we don’t always have to be aligned.  But the method in which they disagreed was unacceptable.

My colleague started raising their voice at me and getting visibly upset because I was not aligned with their position.  I in turn started to raise my voice as I felt threatened and our discussion turned into an argument that started to get personal.

Fortunately for us both, we also are friends and we soon both realized the direction we were going.  We both calmed down and discussed the differences that were before us.  We eventually resolved the situation and came to a conclusion that was the best situation for us all.

My point here though was we both lost some of our dignity by allowing Satan to creep into our conversation like this.  By not disagreeing with respect, we fell far away from how God wants us as a Real Christian Businessman to act.

We basically acted like our sinful bodies and the world expects us to act.

This story can serve as a reminder for us all that in our conflict (and there will always be some), being respectful while speaking the truth is the way that God desires our actions to be.  We may fall from doing this from time to time, but there will be a price to pay when this happens.

Keep your disagreements with believers and non-believers alike civil, respectable, and decent.  I didn’t, but I know God and my colleague forgive me for my actions.  Learn from my example this week and be respectable during your conversations.  God will always honor that type of outcome.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”  James 1:19 (ESV);

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” Romans 12:17 (ESV)

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Prov 15:1 (ESV)

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