The Role of Sin, Alienation, and Reconciliation.
The word “toxic” has taken on special meaning when applied to the workplace. When we hear someone speak of toxic bosses, toxic coworkers, or toxic working environments, we usually have a pretty good idea of the character of the relationships to which they are referring. We might not know the details, but we certainly know that something has gone wrong.
Most workplaces are not usually toxic, nor are most working relationships — in fact, quite the opposite. But most of us do run across workplace toxicity from time to time, and when we do it usually has a way of spoiling the fulfillment and satisfaction we might hope to find in our work. We naturally want to work in an environment that is friendly, collegial, and allows us to be productive and to grow, but sometimes a problematic relationship will put all of this at risk.
Viewing the toxicity through the traditional concepts of sin, alienation, and reconciliation can be helpful. And here the story of Cain from the fourth chapter of the book of Genesis in the Bible might have some important insights for us.
Our goal should be to restore relationships, build community, and remove the dysfunction so that our work can be more effective, more fulfilling, and more beneficial for ourselves and for others.