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I wonder if you have ever been confronted with unethical practices by your employer? That’s a tough spot to be in. What should you do?
Well, let’s begin by saying that if the product or service your organization is engaged in is not contributing to the good of society by providing a worthwhile end product, you need to question seriously if God wants you in that company. As Christ-followers, we are called to be in this world, but not of it. For example, being employed by the lottery commission or a sleazy magazine would place you in the position of helping a product that brings destruction and grief into our society.
I can’t believe that Jesus would want us to expend our time and gain our financial support from such goods or services. They may not be illegal, but certainly they are not edifying or positive forces in our communities. There are any number of these kinds of industries that we should avoid, and the criteria is simply to determine if the company provides a product or service that helps rather than harms.
Now, suppose you work for a firm that is providing a good service, but you are aware of unethical practices that are allowed or encouraged. Maybe hours are billed to the client which were not actually worked and expenses are charged which were not incurred. As a Christian, what action should you take?
Well, if you were asked to exaggerate your hours or expenses, your response is clear-cut. A Christian should never be part of lying or deception of any kind. You have to draw clear black and white lines in your behavior in situations like this.
Of course, when you take these difficult stands, you want to do it with as little fanfare as possible, and as gently as you can. If you don’t have to say anything at all, that is best. Just do what is right and let it go. But if you’re told to do something unethical, or asked why you didn’t, that’s when you must be willing to say that you have done what you believe is right and accurate and you’re not willing to falsify a report of any type.
A friend of mine lost his job once because he refused to falsify a government report for his employer. He was unemployed for a few months, and it looked dim. But the Lord blessed him, and he eventually found a much better job in a firm that was very ethical.