One of the biggest issues I face at work is selfishness.
Of all the things that Jesus says, we're told loving God and loving people are the most important principles to live our lives by. (Matt 22v34-40) We're called to die to ourselves and live for other glory of God and others.
However, when I think of my workplace, thought for others is not one of the first things that springs to mind. I work in trading, where making a profit is to be cleverer, faster, more ruthless and better than those you do business with. It's dog-eat-dog. The best traders get the best deals, the best pay and (usually) the biggest egos.
This can lead to uncomfortable situations for me. Intra-team and inter-department disagreements prevail, and rarely to the benefit of the company. I find it hard to stand up for my beliefs, and it's very easy to just follow the crowd and only look out for myself, or my team. I find myself competing with my colleagues, or picking sides in a debate where one is slightly less wrong than the other. How do I love them instead? How do I resolve differences without offending one or the other?
I don't know the answer to this.
I find that keeping the right focus helps. Every morning on the train to work, I spend time with God, worshipping, praying and reading his word. I pray that the Spirit keeps me calm and aware. Starting work with Jesus on my mind and in my heart means I'm more likely to remember what life is really all about, so I don't get dragged down into office politics and selfish thinking. Looking to the bigger picture is key.
It also helps me to see situations differently: where others are only working for themselves, sometimes I can see the advantages of working together towards a greater goal. This can lead to fair compromises, and a happier working atmosphere.
More importantly, this means I put God first, and that's what he ultimately asks for. I'm asking him to teach me to be more selfless, and to see opportunities to love others.