Ethics, Integrity

Recently I had lunch with a businessman who is struggling to return to Christ after a 10 year hiatus. In returning, one of his major conflicts centers on his claim that during that period he encountered professing Christian businessmen, but none who actually lived out a Biblical ethic.

 

Keeping in mind our daily struggle with ethics and integrity, let me make three observations :

 

1. All people believe in absolute truth:

 

Years ago in California, a drifter picked up a hitchhiking teenage girl, raped her and cut off her arms. Throughout the region, irrespective of religious or philosophical persuasions, there was a universal sense of rage as this riffraff received a relatively light sentence for the crime. The Word of God tells us the source of that rage:

 

When the Gentiles (non-believers), who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselvessince they show that the requirements of the law are written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.” (Romans 2:14, 15)

 

2. The essence of morality is the Golden Rule:

 

We need not complicate the ethics issue, but simply ask this question the next time we are inclined to drop a piece of trash on the ground, or hedge on our income tax : “By engaging in this act, am I loving my neighbor as myself ?” (See Galatians 5:14)

 

3. The force of the Law is enhanced through accountability:

 

Given our depravity, we know that if there is no accountability, there is no keeping of the law:

 

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devisesHe says to himself, God has forgotten; He covers his face and never sees.‘” (Psalm 10:2, 11)

 

Conversely, the serious disciple of Christ is sobered by the reality of coming answerability, and chooses to live accordingly:

 

So we make it our goal to please HimFor we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:9b, 10)

 

 

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