The light of a star guided three wise men to a stable to find the light personified by the baby Jesus. Throughout the gospels the concept of light was often used as an analogy for wisdom, goodness, and the Spirit of God. Jesus frequently referred to Himself as “the Light,” especially in the gospel of John.

One of the responsibilities we have as people of faith and disciples of Jesus, is to strive to become as Christ-like as we can.

It’s incredibly easy to lose sight of that mission amid the pressures we face at work to meet deadlines, cut costs, and increase profits.

There are three adjectives that sum up Jesus and His message. We can look to them as a foundation for our own behavior.

Compassionate
Many stories from the New Testament illustrate Christ’s compassion. Whether feeding the multitudes that followed Him, socializing with and ministering to those who were “sinners,” healing the sick, or raising the dead Jesus was compassionate towards those in need.

We have many opportunities to demonstrate compassion at work whether to the person running to catch the elevator we’re in, or the person wrestling with a copy jam, or the person stressed over an impending deadline. We each have the opportunity to show kindness to those we work with who find themselves in those situations.

That’s not easy in the fast paced, competitive world of corporate life; yet, it’s really the kind of behavior that God expects of us.

The biggest challenge is not to show compassion to those we like, but to show compassion to those we don’t like.

As Jesus said in Matthew (5:41-48) “…do good to those who hate you…For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get?”(NIV)

We’re not called to like everyone, but we are called to be compassionate to those we come into contact with.

Forgiving
The gospels are full of examples of Christ bestowing forgiveness on people. It was the essence of His mission on Earth. He came as an example of how to live our lives as well as a sacrifice for our sins. He made it clear that we’re supposed to forgive others and
that there’s no limit to the number of times we should forgive (Matthew 18:21-22). He explained that our own forgiveness depends on our ability to first forgive those who have hurt us (Matthew 6:14-15).

We often get hurt at work. People step on our feelings intentionally and unintentionally. We’re passed over for promotions. Someone else gets the project we hoped for. People lose their patience and snap at us. And yet, it’s easy for us to do the same things even when we know we shouldn’t.

When we hold on to hurts and grudges we’re the ones who suffer. Needless and negative energy is expended to fuel the negativity. Each of us can reflect on why something or someone hurt us and why it hurt us so much. Usually we feel hurt because we have something at stake –
or feel we do anyway. We can become so invested in our jobs that it’s easy to feel we have much to lose.

Forgiving others is perhaps our greatest challenge.

Generous
Jesus gave of Himself tirelessly. Everywhere He went crowds flocked to Him, yet He always gave of Himself and His time.

There were times when He was exasperated by people and you can hear that exasperation in the gospels ("O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you?" [Luke 9:41]). Yet He still granted the people time with Him and fulfilled their requests for healing and forgiveness.

Even though the 12 apostles were with Him at all times, they found it difficult to nderstand the parables and asked Him to explain His words to them. He may have gotten frustrated with them too but He always took the time to help them learn and understand the points He was trying to make.

Each of us has faced similar situations at work, where we feel as though someone should know what we meant or should understand what needs to be done and yet still needs another explanation. We show someone how to perform a task and get frustrated when we have to show them the same thing over and over again.

It’s true that it’s important to create boundaries to protect our emotional and physical health, but each of us could probably find ways to be more generous at work.

An easy way to show a generous heart is to patiently teach others what we know, then support and advise them as they work to become proficient at their new skills.

Giving of our knowledge helps others grow to become stronger workers, helps grow our organizations, and helps develop important emotional ties between us and them.

As we celebrate the joy of our Savior’s birth, it’s also time to reflect on the man the baby became. His life provides countless examples for us of who we are expected to become as well: compassionate,forgiving, and generous believers.

Author's Bio: 

Winnie Anderson publishes The Mustard Seed, a twice-monthly ezine that provides information, tips, and resources to help you live your faith at work. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and Live Like Jesus calls her book "...provocative and reflective. Get a fr*ee chapter from "Faith From 9 to 5: Overcome the Seven Deadly Sins and Live Your Faith at Work" when you subscribe at www.livemyfaithatwork.com/Mustard-Seed.html