In episode 7 of the Missional Marketplace Podcast, “Can You Fire Someone to the Glory of God?”, we explored this very question, unwrapping the relevance of whether or not we can “do all things as unto Christ” even in hiring & firing employees.
When we view work, people, and the world through a non-redemptive lens, through a lens outside of the redemptive work & power of the Gospel, we tend to see people as simply means to an end. They become cogs in a wheel; just a transaction to complete. However, when we view these things through the lens of the Gospel, people really become so much more to us. The inherent value of a human being is there, the dignity & image of God are born into them, but when we choose to view our world & work through that lens, we are able to see these things in people.
Erik reminds us that Jesus taught us to see people. To see their value, their dignity, and their inherent worth as image bearers of God. Our charge from the first half of this episode was just that: to see people.
Walking into the joys of removing someone from the workplace can be daunting, but there still remains a way to do this to the glory of God when it is done in love, respect, and with value to the other person. We were given the reminder that if someone isn’t fit for the role they’re in, they don’t just suck, they may just need to be in a different role. And we can help them do that, to the glory of God!
Erik shared with us what he learned from the Lord in a season of redemptively firing someone. He learned that “Redemptive does not mean we do not confront people; it does not mean that everybody feels good when it’s over.”
He said, “Redemptive is the act of saving someone from wrong or evil, and that’s what love does. [Quoting 1 Corinthians 13:6,] Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with truth. Love confronts people.”
When firing someone, there is still a way to love them, and to show them this love. Erik uses an example where we can see that in action, stating that in firing someone, our attitude can be, “you can’t work here anymore, but we still see you, we still love you.”
Finally, our Missional Moment this week came from Konica Miles, a manager at the Stone Table’s sister company, CRF Affordable Housing.
Konica’s vision & passion for her work is demonstrating love, dignity, and respect to their residents. In doing so, she implements empathy, noting that “we all have the ability to understand someone’s situation or emotions, we all have the ability to use empathy,” but not everyone does. For her, expressing this “ability to understand” is a staple in her workplace and in her relationship to residents.
Konica uses her vocation to bring the light & love of God to her residents. She chooses to call them higher by seeing their strengths and saying, “I see a little more in you. You just need an opportunity.” For Konica, she has personally both given & received that opportunity, and we have the ability to do that in our work, too.