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One problem that believers often grapple with when becoming more accepting and tolerant of diverse people involves the notion of judgment. Since God's Word is very clear about us not becoming like those of the world in their sinful practices, we often are tempted to think we are better than they are. Or, we fear that if we accept these people, we are endorsing or accepting their sin.
You don't have to relinquish your beliefs about sin in order to work alongside sinners. You can work with someone who's having an affair without having one yourself. Avoid self-righteousness and act with humility and grace when you encounter people whose differences make you uncomfortable.
Grow by Grace You may never receive a diploma in diplomacy, but you can learn what God wants to teach you by sticking it out and not giving up when difficult personalities add hostility to your work environment. We mustn't dismiss or ignore those who seem different from us. We should endeavor to love others within our workplace, trusting that God will shine through us and allow us to interact with those who we find most challenging.
As you look at the assortment of personalities and temperaments in your workplace, I encourage you to thank God for each of them and ask for His guidance. The following prayer might help get you started:
"Almighty God, I am so blessed to be in my present position and I thank You for continuing to use me. I'm grateful for everyone in my office, even those I don't particularly like or understand. Thank You for Fred in accounting. I don't like his temper but I pray that I could learn to not fear him and grow in my ability to communicate with him.
"Thanks for Betty in the next cubicle. She talks and socializes all the time, but I know she's just looking for connection. Give me kindness and Your words when I need to ask her to focus on work.
"I know I'm the person for this job! So I pray that I might learn how to be a better witness not just in the words I say but also the way I do business and the attitude with which I serve others around me. Thank You, Jesus! Amen."
T.D. Jakes is a pastor and the best-selling author of numerous books.
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