“Forgiveness, of course, does not mean we condone or ignore bad behavior. Every workplace should have policies and procedures for dealing quickly with serious transgressions. However, if you do feel ready and the situation warrants it, give forgiveness a try. It could help you, your colleagues, and your workplace.” – Brooke Deterline
What is the Theology?
The creation story (Genesis 1-2) reminds us that humans—charged with the sustaining and cultivating of the earth—are commissioned and designed for work. Christians therefore must think critically about their work, including how their faith-based values, such as forgiveness, are to be embodied in the workplace. As pastors and laypersons alike continue to encounter the effects of the Fall (Genesis 3), the scientific insights into the benefits of forgiveness in the workplace may empower Christians to practice the virtue in practical ways.
What to Consider
- Recall a time when forgiveness was needed in your workplace. What prevented forgiveness from being offered? What would have helped the forgiveness process along?
- How might resentment or a lack of forgiveness be affecting your work environment today? Based on this research, what steps toward forgiveness can you take next?
- How can you create a culture of forgiveness in your church or work environment?
- How do you see your theology of work and your theology of forgiveness interacting? How might this scientific research inform your conclusions?
How to go Deeper
- Consider how Deterline’s forgiveness-based practices (i.e. modeling forgiveness, apologizing and making restitutions, rebuilding trust through common tasks) might be linked to Scripture’s instructions on forgiveness.
- In your preaching on forgiveness, help your hearers consider how the workplace might be a fitting and needed area for applying the Christian practice of forgiveness.
- Deepen your theology of forgiveness and your theology of the work through resources such as Miroslav Volf’s Free of Charge, The Faith & Marketplace Network at Fuller Seminary, or The Theology of Work Project.
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Which Contributes More to Forgiveness, Sympathy or Free Will?
Article by Michael McCullough (2013)
Read the Full Article
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