A few years ago when I was still at my former place of employment, my supervisor asked me to do something that went totally against my faith. There was this one co-worker in our department who had been causing problems for quite some time. His attitude was awful, he constantly complained, and his productivity had almost ground to a complete standstill. He had been warned and written him up several times, but there were policies and procedures that had to be followed before anyone could be let go. Well…my supervisor was looking for a shortcut, so he called me at home one afternoon and said he figured out a way to get rid of the guy. But to do it, he was going to have to tell a little white lie and asked if I would be willing to go along. Without hesitation I reminded him that since I’m a Christian, there was no way I could support him on that. Let there be no mistake about it, the guy with the attitude problems needed to go. His performance had slipped past the point of no return. But I could not and would not corroborate a lie, no matter what.
In the back of my mind though, I wondered how this would affect my relationship with my supervisor, which up until that time, had been really good. As believers, we know there’s a cost for being followers of Jesus Christ and depending on the circumstances, the cost can be quite high. I wondered if I was about to find out just how much my commitment to stay true to my faith was about to cost me.
As it turned out, my concerns were unfounded. My relationship with my supervisor actually improved because he respected the decision I made to stand on the foundation of my Christian faith. I was able to witness to him effectively several times over the course of the next couple of years. There were times afterwards when he faced other difficult decisions and he sought me out to find out what the Bible had to say about the matter. And a couple of years later, after a merger and department realignment forced him to have to go back out on the floor in a production position, he found himself in the same situation.
One day not long after going back to the floor, his supervisor came up to him and asked him to falsify some inspection paperwork on an aircraft engine that was undergoing overhaul. In the aviation maintenance industry, that is a very serious offense, and it was a request my former supervisor very quickly refused. Was it because of my example a couple of years earlier? I hope so. I hope his refusal to falsify that paperwork was because of my unwillingness to compromise my faith in Christ.
One of the things the Lord hates is a false witness who breathes out lies. The Bible says so in Proverbs chapter 6, and elsewhere in scripture. Had I gone along with that one little white lie, you know, just that one time, I would have never had the opportunity to share my faith with my supervisor afterwards, not without coming across as a hypocrite.
So then brothers and sisters in Christ, what do you do? What do you do when you’re asked to pad an expense account, or to falsify some numbers to close a deal? What do you do when someone asks you to look the other way while they carry company property out the back door? What do you do when your boss tells you to compromise, or to bend a few rules (or break them altogether) to get the job done, and then tells you to choose between your faith and your job? Whatever you decide to do, it should have been decided long ago, long before you were faced with an ethical or moral dilemma. In fact, it should not be a dilemma at all. Paul wrote in Ephesians chapter 1 that at the moment we heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, and believed in him, we were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. We became God’s possessions and Christ’s representatives on earth. Remember, you cannot serve two masters. Therefore we should respond accordingly when faced with one of those ethical……. “dilemmas”. For Jesus said, ” Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
For most of us, it’s not a matter of IF someone will put pressure on us to lie, cheat, take shortcuts, or cut corners, it’s a matter of WHEN. So when faced with the decision to either choose the way of the world, or live for Jesus, what do you do? Decide now what you will do, before that day comes. That way your decision will be an easy one, and you won’t have to make your choice in the heat of the moment.