Recently, in the course of counseling a young businessman, I was asked if I thought insider trading was wrong.
“Is it against company policy” I inquired? “Yes,” he replied. “Is it against the laws of the land,” I queried? “Yes,” came his response.
After an awkward pause I asked, “Joe, why then, are you asking me this question?”
In frustration I then directed him to look at Job 27:3-6:
“As long as I have life within me… my tongue will utter no deceit… Till I die, I will not deny my integrity… My conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.”
As we read this passage from his Bible, I noticed that he already had it circled and underlined.
“Had he not previously pondered and perhaps even wrestled with the truth of this passage,” I wondered? “How is it that he could consider these profound teachings and still ask whether ‘insider trading‘ is wrong“?
The answer lies in the fact that many believers who are committed to, and immersed in, the cutthroat climate of the business environment have developed an amazing ability to rationalize and sidestep the Bible’s high standard of integrity. They are able to do this simply by living in the two worlds of the spiritual and the secular as did the Old Testament Jews:
“While these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving their idols.” (2 Kings 17:41)
And by so doing, they make Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde look like a novice.
At the heart of the problem lies our stubborn refusal to allow Christ to be the Lord of our work because we fear that if we abandon ourselves to a Biblical ethic, either:
(1) Our business will collapse under the competition, or
(2) God won’t provide for us at the standard to which we have become accustomed.
The first fear centers on a carnal lack of faith, and the second on greed. Both are sin.