My boss attended a mandatory safety meeting at the offices of a client a few days ago. The purpose was to emphasize the importance of the safety initiatives they are undertaking in order to enhance the profitability of their construction projects where our employees are subcontracted to work.
There’s a significant cost to settling worker’s compensation claims and/or OSHA fines and this client is making a concerted attempt to rein in those costs. I’m all for that. But things are getting a little out of hand.
For instance, every morning the foreman for each subcontractor on the job site is expected to lead his workers in a 15-minute warm-up exercise prescribed by the client. Also, he must prepare safety worksheets for every activity expected to be undertaken for the day and review those worksheets with the appropriate personnel, including deliverymen.
There is an escalating scale of warnings and fines for missing hardhats and safety glasses. Ear protection will be worn when decibels exceed safe limits. Here’s a new one. Beginning with contracts in 2010 every job will be a “gloved” workplace. That’s right – all tradesmen will wear gloves when working. They may eat their snacks and lunches without gloves for now. No word on sanitary wipes.
It goes without saying that the client doesn’t expect this to cost anything in productivity or efficiency.
What’s this got to do with how we Christians should live our lives?
Just this. I don’t know anyone, Christian or pagan, who doesn’t get a little irritated when you describe the multi-volume, bureaucratically enforced program of rules I just described. But most of those same people also bristle when it’s suggested we follow God’s laws found in a single volume that hasn’t changed in almost 2,000 years.
“If you love me you will follow my commandments,” says Jesus (John 14:15).
“If you don’t follow our commands we will fine you,” says our client.
Shouldn’t it be easier to love the Lord our God with all your heart, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself than to follow this man-made silliness?
“But biblical law is so bigoted and un-loving!” we hear.
Really? Unloving? Wouldn’t the proper regard for the safety of their neighbors/workers be undertaken by Christian owners? Wouldn’t honest Christian workmen give their neighbors/employers a fair day’s productivity? Would employers need to fear questionable worker’s comp claims from Christian workers?
Ultimately, our Christianity has to be worked out in what we do, not what we read and say. We Christians talk about reaching the world for Christ, but many are satisfied with a profession of faith. “Okay, he’s saved. Our work here is done.”
It’s by our fruit that others will know us and bearing fruit entails work. Our goal at MARS is to encourage thinking and acting biblically. Acting biblically includes following God’s law. As we do that, the need for man-made regulations disappears.
Then our work here is done.
~ John Bingaman