Three Spiritual Keys to Living Your Purpose

by | May 22, 2024 | Organizational Development, Workplace, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

A Lesson from Church That Inspired Hope

At the risk of being criticized for publishing religion within a business publication, I wanted to share some thoughts from this last weekend.

We celebrated the Feast of Pentecost in the Catholic Church last Sunday, May 19, 2024. Throughout most of my life prior to my 40s, I never paid too much attention to this feast day. That changed, however, just a few years ago when the visiting priest talked of how the Holy Spirit calls us to action and bestows to us His Gifts. The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) they needed to form a new and purpose-filled organization. Something that day touched me deeply, and I felt moved in a way I hadn’t felt before. I began asking how to do more for my Church, family, and community. Now, I look eagerly forward to Pentecost about as much as I do Easter and Christmas. 

For some reason, May – traditionally the heralding of Summer and the full celebration of abundant life – has delivered some kind of pivotal change in my life, usually around Pentecost, ever since that Sunday. Subsequently, I started serving at the Church as a lector reading Scripture and as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion years ago. In 2019, I felt moved to explore my career and discern my path. In 2020, I made the decision to go back to school to earn another Master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, which I earned last June after working through some Pentecostal inspiration on my capstone.

I did not want to miss Pentecost this year, though I feared I might. You see, earlier that week, after experiencing a glorious night of music on Tuesday when my graduating son performed in his finale choir concert, I had a painful reaction to the anti-anxiety medication I started taking about a month ago. The thoughtless decision to take a pill without water threw me into a whirlwind of panic and negative emotions, which rocked me to the core. Truly, I feel grateful for my deliverance from that dark place so I could enjoy watching my son cross the graduation stage on Saturday and so I could attend the Pentacost-Sunday Mass I eagerly awaited.

Mass did not disappoint! This recent sermon delivered some much-needed respite. On a similar note, I hope this blog doesn’t disappoint either.

What Is Pentecost?

Some refer to Pentecost Sunday as the birthday of the Catholic Church. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles describes how the Holy Spirit appeared to the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire. These disciples received the Spirit, which empowered them to speak in different languages and profess the Word of God to people worldwide. Moreover, the Gospel of John states that Jesus, after his resurrection, breathed on the Apostles and told them the sins they forgave on earth had forgiveness in heaven, and those unforgiven were also unforgiven by God. These stories of the early followers of Christianity illustrate the vocation of the earliest priests and the rise of the Church.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?

In Christian theology, The Holy Spirit is the Third Person in the Holy Trinity, alongside the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. He is the divine presence of God among us Who reveals the desires of our hearts. The Holy Spirit bestows seven gifts to humanity including wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and Fear of the Lord.

Three Elements to Living Your Vocation

This year, our visiting priest, during the Homily, shared with us three important elements to live our Spiritual calling to serve each other in our community:

  1. Keep Learning: Remain open to receiving information to educate ourselves, see all perspectives, and use the gifts of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom stemming from learning. 
  2. Stay Humble: Instead of leveraging “knowledge as power” over other people, use empathy to discern the right course of action morally and ethically, have the strength and courage to do the right thing, and understand that your abilities come from beyond you. 
  3. Ask for Help: With devotion to God and respect for His power and love, pray to manifest the best course of action guided by learning and humility.

How Does This Relate to the Workplace?

Business owners seek increased revenues and decreased risks to deliver value to their companies. To achieve this, they need people who possess the KSAOs required to perform the tasks and to work harmoniously with others. Establishing a learning culture can motivate workers to develop the self-efficacy they need to perform their work masterfully and have the grit to persevere toward goals (Mueller-Hanson & Pulakos, 2015). Workers who can learn and who can safely seek help on the job can deliver the aforementioned value to help their organizations grow.

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins describes a “Level 5 Leader” as the highest level of leadership. Level 5 Leaders have both professional will and personal humility. They have a strong vision with unwavering focus, but they also focus on putting people first with a humble heart. Business leaders who strive for Level 5 Leadership embody at least the first two elements of living their vocation.

To assess whether you have a learning culture, take the Harmonious Workplaces Workplace Culture Scorecard.

References

Collins, J. (2001). Good to great. Random House Business Books.

Holy Bible, NABRE. (2001). John 20:19-23 & Acts 2: 1-13

Mueller-Hanson, R.A. & Pulakos, E.D. (2015). Putting the “Performance” Back in Performance Management. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) & Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/special-reports-and-expert-views/Documents/SHRM-SIOP%20Performance%20Management.pdf

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