Ethics And Competence - Pt. 4 There Is Nothing New Under The Sun - There Is A Price To Pay
By Stan Lewis
Ever feel that if you just didn't see, hear or say anything, hid your ethics, and tried not to be too competent, that your life at work would be easier? That you might climb the ladder of success faster without paying a price? Sometimes, even if your character is above reproach and you are skilled in what you do, there may be a harsh price to pay for your success. Never the less, you must always work as if you where working for Christ himself. Always seeking to grow and develop your personal gifts, talents, and strengths. But what is this price that must be paid? To fully explain what I mean, let me first back up and speak of choices. We all have the freedom to make choices in our personal life. Often times the choices we make affect not only ourselves, but those around us also. For example, if someone steals from their own business or their employers business, it affects each employee in that business. The Enron scandal is a perfect example. The Enron executives made a personal choice of selfishness [self-preservation above all else] & greed, but the effects of those choices went far beyond them. Decades from now, former Enron employees will feel the effects of being robbed of their savings and retirement accounts.
Many people make choices that are based in not only selfishness and greed, but also jealousy. Let us take an account from the life of Daniel's in the bible. (For example: Daniel 6:1-28) Daniel was one of three senior executives in the administration of King Darius. In the book of Daniel 6:3, we can see that Daniel's character was far above reproach. Daniel was also very competent as an administrator - so much so that the King placed Daniel over his whole administration.
Daniel was very ethical and highly competent, but there was a price he was about to pay for it. Many of those he was elevated above, where not happy about it. Daniel's peers were quite envious. These jealous kingdom executives made a choice to give in to their envy. They planned to bring Daniel down and use Daniel's fall to elevate themselves to more power and fame. [4 So the governors - sought to find [some] charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he [was] faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him]. When Daniels peers could find no fault in him, so they created a fault. [7 "All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators "., the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.] The jealous administrators tricked the king into supporting a bad policy - signing a bad law. That decree became law and policy for the kingdom. Such underhand dealings still go on today in the workplace as people seek to get ahead by any means possible. Daniel would not compromise his ethics - his character - or his competence. He worked as if he was working for God and he still prayed to God despite the company policy of the Kingdom. Because he would not conform to ungodly ethics and because others where jealous of his competence, Daniel had to pay the price. Daniel was thrown to the lions. But God rescued Daniel and the king placed Daniel over his kingdom. Have you been thrown to the lions in your life? Or do you feel that you are about to be thrown to the lions in your life because you won't waiver from your ethics; because you believe in doing excellent work; or because of a combination of both? Daniel was a person just like you. His situation was overwhelming. He was fearful of being thrown to the lions and terrified when he was locked in with these hungry beasts. But Daniel had a hope. He made a choice to place his faith in his God. He knew God would not place anything on him, which he, Daniel, was not capable of handling. And when things became more than what he could handle, God made an escape for him. [22 "My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him...] Things have not changed since Daniel's time. There are people who still make choices to be selfish and greedy. They also still choose to be envious of the unmatched ethics and competence of their peers. These jealous people still choose to make the Daniels of this world pay the price for sound ethics and competence. They still want to send the today's Daniels to the lions of today's world, but the God of Daniel is unchanged also. God will not place anything on you that you can not handle. And when things become too much for you, he will make an escape for you just like he did for Daniel. So don't stray from your Godly ethics - your Godly principles. Don't be blind, deaf, and dumb to selfishness, greed, or jealousy to get ahead in life. Instead, always strive to grow and develop your personal gifts, talents, and strengths, so that you are competent in all you do. And leave the lions to God, because God is just as effective in rescuing you today from the lions in your life, as he was in rescuing Daniel from his lions.
Copyright 2005 Stan Lewis
About The Author
Stan Lewis is a Christian Leadership & Life Coach.