Who Do Men Say That I Am? Christians in the Workplace

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“Who do men say that I am?” is the question Jesus asked his disciples on the way to Caesarea Philippi. Easy enough one would think. After all, the people witnessed the miracles and wonders he performed firsthand. They were with him for three days. They hungered and he fed them, he even healed a blind man.  Surely, they would be able to identify him based on what they knew.

Jesus and the Disciples

The disciples replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” Okay, so maybe there was a bit of confusion. Perhaps defining who he was and what he represented was somehow misunderstood. He then asked the disciples, his closest colleagues “But who do YOU say I am?”

How Are You Identified at Work?

Now imagine yourself as Christian at work. Are your colleagues aware that you are a Christian? Does this affect how you behave? It’s usually wise and even recommended in most workplaces not to discuss politics or religion at all. But religion, depending on what your beliefs can oftentimes dictate how you interact in social circles…even at work.

So how should you respond when you are required to participate in “team building” activities that go against your personal beliefs? Maybe you’ve been invited to join your co-workers after-hours for drinks. Do you attend or graciously decline?

Social Challenges

Casual hours are sometimes as important as the actual work day itself. They can define an employee’s status with their peers and even managers. This is the time real deals are made and bonds and relationships are built. Successful interaction can sometimes make or break your career. Figuring out how to navigate that fine line between work and worship might be challenging. But can you truly maintain your identity as a Christian and still remain a “team player’?

Kelvin Beachum Jr. is an NFL player for the NY Jets. While he knows what it means to be a team player he is a Christian in the workplace. His workplace is the field and the locker room where it is not uncommon to hear profanity or in his case prayer.

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CFU: There’s a general public perception surrounding today’s professional male athletes.  They see a life of partying, fast cars and even faster women and in some instances substance abuse. As a Christian how have you managed to separate yourself from those activities yet still be a “team player”? 

KBJ: I spend time with my teammates in different ways. Grabbing dinner, doing treatment together– it’s not about separation it’s about standards. My standards don’t permit staying out late and going certain places, so once I see the evening heading in a different direction, I call it a night. My teammates respect my choices but I have to stay consistent. I have to hold on to that standard consistently.

CFU: Discussions regarding religion or politics are generally frowned upon in any workplace. Has this made it difficult for you to witness to others in the sports world?

KBJ: Not at all. I say this all the time: for some people, I may be the only Bible they see. I don’t need to preach and beat them upside the head with a Bible. What’s important and impactful is living a life that’s pleasing to God and allowing others to witness that. When God lays on your heart to witness, one can do it and there not be strain on the relationship. Being true to your faith and living in a way that glorifies God genuinely, allows others to see God.

CFU: Has being a Christian ever caused any conflict in your career?

KBJ: None whatsoever. Being a Christian football player is validated, in my opinion. Samson was violent. David was violent. Jesus was violent when he needed to be! I’ve been blessed with a gift. Playing football is one way I worship every single day!

CFU: What advice would you give to Christians who find themselves in compromising positions at work?

KBJ: Don’t compromise. Either be hot or cold. It’s very simple.

 

 

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Saved & Saving: What is Peer-to-Peer Lending?

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Have You Ever Been Turned Down for a Bank Loan?

Getting turned down for a bank loan can be disappointing and even embarrassing. But thanks to peer-to-peer lending, your prayers might be answered. Peer-to-peer lending  is one of the newest methods of obtaining a personal or small business loan.

How Does Peer-to-Peer Lending Work?

Unlike traditional loans, peer-to-peer lending also known as P2P lending allows both borrowers and lenders to connect without a financial institution. Peer-to-peer loans are funded by individual investors who are willing to finance your debt. These loans can be used to consolidate credit card debt, pay off medical bills, tax debt, finance automobiles, handle emergencies, start new businesses and more.

 Peer-to-Peer Loan Companies

Two of the main companies that offer peer-to-peer lending are Prosper and the Lending Club.  Their loan amounts range from as little as $1,000 up to $40,000.  Repayment terms are usually between one to five years. Both companies have been in existence for over 10 years and operate pretty much under the same premise, but keep in mind everyone’s needs differ so you may want to compare services.

I’ve tried the Lending Club  with great success and no complaints. Their online application is relatively simple. It usually only takes a few minutes to complete the process.  Once they’ve notified you of approval, funding takes a few days.

How Do Peer-to-Peer Lenders Make Money

So how do they make money? P2P lenders charge origination fees to borrowers and deduct fees from the loan repayments made to investors. Nevertheless, as borrower with peer-to-peer lending you may stand a better chance of getting a “yes”for a loan.

Advantages of Peer-to Peer Loans

  • Applying is easier and faster
  • Criteria for eligibility is lower, first-time borrowers are OK
  • You may be approved even if your credit score is low
  • Fast funding directly to your bank account
  • Low fixed interest rates
  • No hidden fees or charges
  • No penalty for early prepayment
  • Convenient, automated fixed monthly repayment

Application Process

Applying and checking your rate for a peer-to-peer loan will not affect your credit score. The process takes place entirely online, so be prepared to provide your identification documents digitally if required. Approvals usually take no longer than 72 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

W.W.J.D. About Bullying?

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How should Christians respond to bullying? Bullies can be found in schools, at work and even in Church. That was a question I was forced to ask myself after speaking to an 11- year-old child. The majority of my listening audience is made up of adults, but there are children who also are faithful listeners and genuinely enjoy the radio program as well. One of these children is Trinitee, a lively, charming 11-year old who loves gospel music and Jesus. She refers to me as “AUNTY META” which she always writes in all caps, just so I’d know how much she loves me. During one of our online chats about school, she confided that she was being bullied and this wasn’t the first time. But it was MY first time not being totally sure what to say. I was used to counseling adults.

What Do You Say to a Child That is Bullied?

Should I tell her pray? Turn the other cheek? Maybe, go tell Mommy or the teacher? She said “A boy in my classroom said I was ugly.  I told him, I was made in God’s image so I’m beautiful”.  Bravo to her! She did the right thing. She stood up to the bully with the God’s Word.

What Does the Bible Say About Bullying?

Although the word “bully” or “bullying” does not appear in the Bible, the presence of this behavior is evident. The Crucifixion is proof of that.

But what WOULD Jesus do about bullying and how should we go about protecting children in schools that no longer have prayer? And what if you’re an adult who is bullied at work or even at church? What about cyberbullying? How should Christians respond?

TIP:  During the time of the Crucifixion, Jesus did respond to being tormented. He asked his Father to forgive those who treated him cruelly. (Luke 23:34). By showing mercy to others we too can receive mercy for our transgressions.

  •  …because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment – James 2:13 (NIV)

TIP:  Seek God’s wisdom on how to respond to your specific situation. Not all acts of aggression are the same. You certainly will never need a hammer to stop an ant.

  • I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you – Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

TIP:  Avoid seeking revenge upon your adversaries. This can sometimes be difficult. Human nature says that we should make people the way they’ve made us feel. It is true that hurt people hurt others. The Bible however, says we should treat others the way we desire to be treated, but when others are unkind this can prove difficult or even impossible. But by taking matters into our own hands, we don’t leave room for God to act on our behalf.

  • Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord – Romans 12:19 (NIV)

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Tye Tribbett, Pastor of the LiVe Church in Orlando, FL is a gospel singer, songwriter, keyboardist and choir director who has won two GRAMMY® Awards, a Soul Train Award, two Dove Awards and three Stellar Awards and….was bullied as a child.

CFU: How would you advise children of the Kingdom to respond to a bully especially since telling on a bully sometimes makes matters worse?

TT:  I think it’s really important that parents are made aware first, sometimes even telling friends can start a small “clique war”! So have an a parent or guardian made aware of the situation is of most importance first.

CFU: How can parents help protect their children from bullies?

TT:  I think regardless of the fearful expectation of a more aggressive retaliation from the bully, I think parents should definitely make the teachers aware of what’s going on,  not to “punish the bully” per say but to keep watch over the child, especially at the times when, as it was told to you, the “bully strikes”. And then once the teacher sees for themselves, the correction is fair and unbiased.

CFU: What should you do if “your” child is the bully?

TT:  Understanding should be the first initiative in dealing with your child being a bully. Find out the root of it, what sparked it and work continues to encourage it. After that aggressive consequences should be instituted to ensure the alignment and discipline of the child’s behavior. I think with these two things in place the child feels loved yet understands that they may need to change some things.

Can You REALLY Afford to Tithe?

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Tithing God’s Way

The real question is… Can you really afford NOT to tithe?

The answer is a resounding NO! Tithing is not about us paying God back for our blessings. The purpose of tithing is to teach us to always put God first and check on our attitudes about the source of our resources. We ought to always recognize God as our sole source of security.  The world however, makes it’s easy to believe that once you’ve made enough money and have purchased enough material things, THEN are you guaranteed a life of security and happiness.  But reality says…not so! Besides, how much  is ever enough? This false sense of thinking is the primary reason so many people today are in debt.

It is however, undeniable that money does allow for more certain conveniences but by tithing you demonstrate your trust in God to provide all of the things you need. Tithing is an opportunity to open up your finances to God to be blessed and increased by declaring that neither money nor material things represent the god in which you worship.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

  • What is the correct way to tithe? The Bible says that we are required to return one-tenth of our earnings to God (Deuteronomy 14:22-29).
  • Does this also include my time and talents?  It may in some cases, depending on how your time and talent are used to contribute to the Kingdom.
  • Should I tithe gross or net of my income? This is an age-old question. Many have said that tithes should be calculated based on gross income or what you’ve made overall before taxes etc.  However, you can check with your own church clergy to confirm.
  •  How does the Church use my money? Churches pay bills the same as secular organizations. As a religious organization they are entitled to certain exemptions however this does not mean that they operate for free. Monies collected oftentimes cover a variety of Church-related expenses. Each Church usually has it’s own record keeping system in place according to their own bylaws.
  • Does this mean tithing just another church fundraiser?  Absolutely not, tithing is an act of obedience as commanded by the Word of God.
  • How can I be sure that my tithes are not helping finance something that doesn’t directly benefit the Church?  What happens with our tithes once we pay them honestly shouldn’t concern us as long as we honor our responsibility as Christians to be obedient to God’s Word regarding tithing.
  • Do my other Church donations count towards tithing?  Tithing is considered to  be ten percent of your total earnings, whatever those earnings may consist of.  In addition, many Churches also collect a general offerings aside from the special tithes which may include donations.

What If I Can’t Afford to Tithe for Financial Reasons? 

Although ten percent may not seem like much when compared to what God provides, many still find themselves struggling with the notion of parting ways with even portion a small portion of our salaries. You are not alone! After all, we all have bills to be paid and neither the landlord nor the electric companies are waiting upon the Lord to deliver on your behalf, They are waiting for YOU to deliver cold hard cash, on time each month.   Just like death and taxes, bills will undoubtedly always be a part of life but despite this ,you can still afford to tithe and it’s a lot easier than many of us would imagine. It does however require discipline and once you learn to adapt healthy attitudes about money then you are the best position ever to be the person God has destined you to be.

God is truly a great provider! He supplies ALL of our needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19).

ChurchFolksUnited.com will be publishing articles in an ongoing series entitled “Saved & Saving” that will offer you tips and advice from experts to help you budget, save and grow your resources. If there are any topics of specific interest to you, please feel free to reach out with any suggestions: (Meta Washington – ChurchFolksUnited@gmail.com).

I look forward to hearing from you!