Friday of Lent 3, March 29, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
As we continue our exploration of this phrase in the Litany, we are asked to examine how our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts tempts us toward dishonesty in our daily life and work.
Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts,
and our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.
Dishonesty at work, such as using work time or work resources for non-work-related activities, taking credit for other people’s work, or doing team-work on your own and giving others credit when they didn’t get a chance to offer their skills in the work, are ways in which we seek to serve ourselves instead of serving others. Dispositions and habits that we learn in the work place spill over into the rest of life just as habits and dispositions that we practice at home find their way into work.
Often the motivations for dishonesty are found in the other themes this litany has taken us through this week: self-indulgence, envy, and “intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts.” We want more, and these desires lead us into temptation to take ethical short-cuts.
Collect 24 (Various Occasions, BCP 261) provides us with an insight on the problem with dishonesty in daily life and work: we are given work to do and lives to live that are for the sake of being done “in truth and beauty and for the common good.” When we do our work or live our lives for our own gain, then we are missing opportunities to live into our baptismal covenant. As baptized people—members of the Body of Christ—we are called to seek and serve Christ in others, to strive for justice for all persons, and to resist the pull toward evil in whatever ways that it confronts us. If everyone seeks to serve each other, then all will be served
As you think back through this past week, when have you been tempted to be less than honest in your work or dealings with others?
What was your motivation for not acting or living as honestly as you might have?
Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(24. For Vocation in Daily Work, BCP 261)