“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” (Col 4.6 NAS).
On a recent, rough and tumble, TV reality show a job applicant was being interviewed. She was told that this workplace had cursing. He wondered if she could handle that? She answered his question by cursing herself. (Fortunately my good TV Guardian language filter or the network bleeped it out. With TV’s low moral standards I consider my language filter “de rigueur” – obligatory, essential.)
It would be great if all employers were so upfront about work conditions. One deserves to know what they would be getting into. The applicant’s string of expletives quickly assured the interviewer that she would fit in. How typical. Sadly, by siding with the devil, making her mouth a toilet bowl, she got the job. Score: job wins, character loses.
This incident got me to wondering how a wholesome, “filth-challenged,” person might handle a similar situation? We know that language in many workplaces is diverse.
A clean speaking applicant could thank the job interviewer for being open about the work place language up front. Not all do that.
Also test for company tolerance, freedom of speech. One might say, “While I try not to curse I am well aware that it is commonplace. I do not reject my friends or fellow workers who think differently from me. I accept others as they are and hope that they will also accept me? In my experience, in many businesses there is a wide range of language. I’m guessing that you already have diversity here. If they get along together. We can too. This is the American way, a melting pot of ideas, independent thinkers, freedom of speech, diversity.”
Follow up reply if appropriate: “Ocasionally one hears about a company that seems to hate Christians and morality. Being a Christisn should make one a more dedicated, honest worker. That is my desire. But if this is a problem you might not want to hire me?”
A reply similar to the above should handle it but if not the aspect of religious freedom may need airing. I believe that it is often best to let it be graciously known up front if one is a Christian. If this is going to be a problem I want to know now! If one cannot accept my core values they cannot accept me. One be dodging a bullet by not getting a job.
Honesty about core values?: “I am a Christian. We are supposed to be able to fit in. I desire to get along with all workers. I want to do more than the minimum requirements. I want to encourage a positive work environment.” Honesty now about core values can avoid disappointment later.
Christians are to be salt and light in a dark world. Missionaries do not bail out because foreign cultures are sinful. They see the need as opportunity! Can we? Will we take advantage of it? Sadly, some weak believers are not yet strong enough in the Spirit to maintain their godly testimony before a watching, hurting world. Missionaries in the work place need to be strong and clean. Can we resist the tug to just fit in? Peer pressure is strong.
Cursing is giving the devil free advertising. I personally think that if one has the freedom of speech to curse – that I should have the freedom to praise and honor God. I can ask the Spirit of God to open a door of opportunity to respond. It may be by having lunch with the individual and discussing my view. We hate the sin but love the sinner.
“The wise in heart will be called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” (Prov 16.21 NAS).
“Conduct yourselves with wisdom towards outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.” (Col 4.5 NAS).