Q: Spirituality is a hot topic even at work. Is it ok to talk about stuff like that on the job? Books on spirituality, and even spirituality in the workplace, are hot right now! What's appropriate, considerate and perhaps helpful in talking about religion? (I don't want to offend or be considered an obnoxious "religious zealot.")
A: First of all, many business now have policies about what, when and how people can talk about their "religion." You need to consult your HR department and/or Employee manual for guidance.
If you can engage in general conversation, you want to be careful not to appear on a "crusade." The goal here is really to simply share some interesting ideas with each other, respecting and honoring differing opinions.
I have been impressed by faithful Hindus and Muslims who calmly and sincerely express their faith even as a minority. It's more of an information sharing than a "conversion effort."
Christianity at it's best is to be considerate of others, even if you violently disagree!
Remember: "Love your enemies?" (Matt 5:44, Luke 6:27 & 6:35) And while many speak poorly of "religion," (a topic for another day.) many of your friends and co-workers will talk openly about "spirituality."
For example you could easily ask others around you:
...• "What is the most spiritually inspiring place you have been?"
...• "Have any works of art really touched your heart and spirit lately?"
...• "Where do you think God was in the 9/11 attacks or the Flooding of New Orleans?"
...• "Do you think big business is naturally evil or is it something spiritual?"
...• "What do you think God thinks about the Iraqi war going on right now?"
Movies are also good for discussion:
...• "What are the spiritual values in 'Gone with the Wind?'"
...• "Do you think heaven is like the Emerald City in 'The Wizard of Oz?"
...• "Do you think 'Batman Begins' is about one person's spiritual journey?"
...• "Did you see 'The Passion of Jesus Christ' last year? What did you think of it?"
I am sure you can come up with lots of non-threatening questions that allow you to explore spirituality with your family, friends and co-workers during breaks.
Remember, it's important to have patience, tolerance and to seek a deeper understanding. Never forget how patient Christ has been with us.