Usually we are tempted to compromise on our promises to God because there’s some reward on the table. The irony is, being steadfast will yield greater rewards that will truly edify our lies and benefit our careers. How do I know this? Because it’s happened to me. People in the business are surprised when I tell them I can’t do something because of what I believe, but by doing so I let them know what I value most. In an environment where everything is negotiable, taking something off the table and making it nonnegotiable can be empowering.
Many people who are otherwise truly passionate about their faith are afraid to stand on their principles in their professional lives. Have you ever found yourself in that position? Have you given in? Living in service to God always comes with a cost. Have you ever considered the cost and thought that it was simply too high?
If you have, you’re hardly alone. I doubt there is a single Christian (me included) who hasn’t failed in this regard at least once— and most likely many times. But God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. Sometimes when you allow circumstances to compromise your values and regret it after the fact, you’re even more motivated to obey God’s will the next time you’re tempted.
In the professional world, the key is to understand that most of what we think we know about business and morality is a myth. We have this Gordon Gekko image of people in business: cynical, predatory, and ruthless, ready to slit anybody’s throat to make more money or climb the ladder. But for the most part, in my experience that has not been true. Even in the corner office, people are moved by kindness, honor, and ethics. The CEO is still someone who has a family and children, someone who doesn’t walk into the office each morning thinking, “Who can I cheat today?” If there are people who take actions of questionable morality in their careers, it’s usually not because they are bad people but because they’re doing what they think they must do to survive.
Whether you’re in entertainment, finance, or technology, the demands of most careers are mental. Because of that, the doubts we face are psychological— questions of confidence, self-worth, and self-image. When we go into the professional environment, we begin to question ourselves. Do I have what it takes? Am I good enough? Can I advance? It is very difficult to pursue a path of success if we define that success only in terms of promotion or the title on a business card. But if you define it as peace, as “the kind of person I become in the eyes of God,” success becomes achievable.
When you let God develop and produce your career by faith, you hold fast to your commitment to him. So what if you’ve been tempted before and failed? As my Uncle Pastor DJ Williams used to say: “Yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is ready cash, use it wisely.” The past is irrelevant; it’s all about what you do today. Standing up for God changes how people see you. Suddenly, in a world where everything is relative, you’re an absolute. You’re a person of integrity, someone whose word can be trusted and, more important, someone whom God can trust. This is what God’s budget for your career is all about.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Have you have ever found yourself in this same position? Did you give in? How did you handle the situation? OR are you facing a situation like this right now? Let me know!