Reconciliation in the workplace
There are two sides in a court case, usually at least two candidates in an election, and many different ideologies and spokespeople for them. In a family discussion, there may be a parent's view versus a child's view; in international negotiation, there can be one nation's choice versus several others'. It's been said, Walk a mile in another's moccasins before saying there is only one way to look at an issue.
As important as such empathy may be, there is an even more vital viewpoint to consider: "I'm going to love no matter what. Whatever another person thinks, whatever that country does, whatever the jury decides, no matter who is elected, no matter how that child acts—I'm not going to move from loving my neighbor." This is a healing standpoint that acknowledges the importance of letting love govern our thoughts and actions.
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There was a time when I had prayed a lot about an employee relationship that had soured and been terminated. But despite prayer, I still imagined scenes in which I confronted the employee, exposing his faults. Toward the end of that same year, it turned out that one of my company's customers had become dissatisfied with me and our services, and had written colleagues to inquire about any other problems they had had with us. The customer wanted to expose our faults.
How a past employee viewed me and my employer didn't seem important, because the employee was gone. But how present customers viewed me and the company was, of course, of real significance. It became obvious that I no longer could afford to see myself on a side opposing the past employee any more than I could afford to have a customer be on a side opposing me.
At one level, the situation was like a sport field, and my thoughts were the rules of the game. Those rules I used in my play against the other person would become the rules for both sides, and I was likely to become just as much a victim of those rules as the other individual. I became determined to put an end to my ruminating about avenging myself for his harmful behavior.
That combative field was abandoned like a dream after one wakes in the morning.
One Bible passage stuck with me; it explains that our spiritual warfare involves "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God" (II Cor. 10:5). These imaginations of my conflict with another person or of a customer in conflict with me were all on the same playing field. That afternoon it was clear that the only way to escape from this false battle of preying upon one and being preyed upon by another was to refuse to play in that field. It became imperative that I see the terminated employee fairly and without animosity—just the way I would like to be seen by my customers. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I no longer saw him or myself on a field where forgiveness and understanding don't exist.
We were both lifted from that playing field, where attacks of unfairness and vengefulness seem possible. That combative field was abandoned like a dream after one wakes in the morning It actually never existed in God's Love's creation. Understanding this, I could see there was no power to make us believe anything about one another, other than what we would find by seeing each other as God's children. The fact is each of us was and is the spiritual reflection of God, who is divine Truth and Love.
Later that afternoon I received a call that a client with a large account, someone we thought would leave us, had chosen to stay with us and was sending a staff member to our facility for special training to avoid problems in the upcoming year. The same afternoon I picked up a from a customer who had dropped us. He finished his letter by stating some conditions we could meet so that he could stay with us again for the coming year. I contacted the production plant for this customer, and the plant informed me that the requests could be fulfilled.
What's the reason we search for reconciliation in a case like this? Is it to see our preferred solution take place? Or is it to learn to rely on God and to help bring genuine healing? Rudimental Divine Science by Mary Baker Eddy states. "Heal through Truth and Love there is no other healer" (p. 8). A solution isn't right even if it seems very right, unless Truth and Love are doing the leading and healing. It is God's work to uphold and defend all that is true and loving. Our part is to bear witness to and trust God, divine Truth and Love.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one an- other;... rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality... Be of the same mind one toward another.
Romans 12:9, 10, 12, 13, 16