Faith in the workplace. Can we acknowledge that bringing faith into the workplace is sometimes a difficult topic?
Internally, people feel confusion.
Externally, it’s a minefield. Maybe it’s awkward coffee break conversations. Or maybe it’s loaded with professional repercussions that impact promotions and even employment.
But sometimes it’s just funny.
Watch this video about former Braves catcher Eddie Perez and former Phils pitcher Paul Byrd to see what I mean.
Doug Glanville was in the on-deck circle during this altercation, and had this to say:
The major leagues also had its share of comedy. Take the fight I was in with the Atlanta Braves, when I was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the course of a week, my teammate Paul Byrd, a pitcher, had unintentionally hit Braves catcher Eddie Perez not once but twice in the back.
Perez and Byrd had once been teammates (and Bible study partners), but Perez had apparently left forgiveness at the door. When Byrd stepped up to the plate for his next at-bat, Perez hit him and then jumped him. Since I was on-deck and the closest player to the fray, I ran over to pry them apart.
The next thing I knew, I was at the bottom of a pile of players, my legs trapped, spikes barely missing my various body parts. The Braves’ Ozzie Guillen evidently decided that the best way to get out of the pile was to pull me out by the head. I had a stiff neck for three days.
What I found interesting was that instead of Perez and Byrd ripping each other’s hair out, they were locked together in a protective embrace, apologizing and praying to get out of this mass of humanity. Everyone within earshot was wondering why we all risked physical harm for a prayer meeting.
Well, I’m glad Perez and Byrd rediscovered the Christian art of reconciliation at the bottom of a baseball mosh pit.
But you see a familiar phenomenon here:
On the one hand, these two Christian brothers and former teammates are torn between friendship, Christian duty, virtue, moral obligation to God;
while on the other hand, there’s the duty to do your job well, to be competitive, to keep your edge, and to not be seen as weak or soft by your teammates.
Can you relate? This isn’t just a professional athlete thing. These dynamics exist, even if you aren’t getting in a massive fistfight.
I don’t know what exactly they could have done differently (Byrd in particular). But one takeaway is that when you’re navigating faith in the workplace, you will make mistakes. And when you do, its best to own them, ask forgiveness, and pray with and for the person you’ve offended.
How do you handle this in the workplace? How would you?