“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
– Joshua 1:9
Issue: How do I do the right thing when I’m pressured to do otherwise?
Shutting my office door behind him, my boss said, “I think Mike has a nose problem. I heard that he’s heavy into cocaine. I want you to get some dirt on the guy and fire him.” I was taken aback. Mike had been an excellent employee and one of my best salespeople for years. My first reaction was to do the right thing: I wanted to talk honestly to Mike. If, in fact, he did have a problem, I wanted to help him get his personal and professional life in order. But when I mentioned this approach to my boss, he blew up, saying, “I don’t care how you do it, just get rid of him. I want him out of here now!”
I was caught between a rock and a hard place: I could do what was right and risk being fired myself, or I could choose not to make waves and be the team player as my boss would call it, and do the dirty work my boss had demanded I do. Well, I copped out and made the easier decision, the wrong one. I saved my job by unjustly taking the job of another. My boss’s ego and my fear of unemployment hurt the entire staff. Not only did we lose a good employee, we also lost the trust of our sales team. The decision may have saved my job, but I lost a little piece of my soul.
Solution: Walk with God in Courage.
A time will come when a person’s faith will be tested beyond his or her perceived limit, a time when business pressure, intellectual logic, and fear gang up on them, to the point where an easier wrong decision takes precedence over a tougher right decision. Fear and discouragement keep us from doing the right thing. Conversely, courage enables us to rise above difficulty to reach new heights as a human being. This is the time when people need to be strong and courageous and do what’s right.
Courage is easily misunderstood. For many, courage is defined by doing bold or brave things. The underlying reason for the action may be ego gratification, power, or recognition. Demonstrating moral courage is very much a private matter between you and God. Sometimes, we come to a point where we know God is calling us to change our life’s direction, and we must quiet our ego in order to hear God’s whisper. Sometimes, we are confronted with a painful blow that shakes the very foundations of our beliefs and we need the courage to renew and deepen our faith in God.
Whatever your situation, you will probably be brought to a special place of tested faith and courage, a place where you will be challenged to go against the grain of common sense to move into the uncharted waters of illogical faith. Common challenges, rewards and blessings occur for all of us who have the choice to do the right thing.
Most of our lives are shaped by the small decisions we make every day. It doesn’t matter whether the decision we’re faced with is big or small. What’s important is to understand that every decision helps shape our character and destiny. We are either becoming who we want to be or who God wants us to be. Business demands, coupled with personal fears and ego, make choosing the wrong decision tempting. For that reason alone, it is even more important to take time to make sure our decisions align with our faith, values, and principles. It is wise to prayerfully consider God’s counsel for all our decisions.
Asking ourselves these two questions will help guide us when choices be made: What is the right thing to do? Am I willing to trust God’s promise that God is with me in this decisions regardless of the consequences?
Deciding what is right and acting on our convictions can be a daunting task. We are all different people with many different situations. We may never understand why God has placed a certain decision before us. Nevertheless, the one thing we have in common is that God has promised that God is with us always.
Extract from Larry Julian, God Is My CEO: Following God’s Principles in a Bottom-Line World, 51-53.